Helena residents unite for help during COVID-19 outbreak

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – Helena residents are coming together to share information and provide help to fellow residents during the coronavirus epidemic through a Facebook group called “Helena Pandemic Help Exchange.”

According to City Council President Hal Woodman, who created the group, “the goal is to create a network of neighbors to help each other through this crisis.”

The group was started as a resource for citizens of Helena to find access to supplies, get information about coronavirus related issues, help with financial issues, information about school and business closures and to provide other forms of support to fellow residents.

“If this pandemic continues for a long time there are people that are going to be needing help. There are a lot of people with information online. I made a page just for people to offer or exchange services for people,” Woodman explained.

Many of the posts in the group are informing other members which stores are stocked on certain essential supplies like paper towels, toilet paper, disinfecting products, baby supplies and food items. Some of the posts also include helpful information for those needing different types of assistance.

“There’s been an amazing amount of people contributing,” Woodman said. “For example Helena’s McDonalds is donating food to help kids on free or reduced meal plans at school. No one would really know about that service unless someone shared it. Other businesses are also providing free services and people are finding out through this group.”

Woodman said that some people in the group were even offering to pick up prescriptions for those who are sick or vulnerable and are unable to leave their houses.

Anyone interested can join the group by searching “Helena Pandemic Help Exchange” on Facebook.