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Glen Cove residents take to Facebook to help each other

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As the coronavirus outbreaks disrupt daily life, with employees being ordered to work from home and schools closing its doors, many residents of Glen Cove are working together to fill the gaps left in the pandemic’s wake. 

Michael, who did not share his last name, is among those residents. His life is hectic, but he’s set aside time to organize volunteers to prepare food for those who are in need. He said that if he could have access to a location where the volunteers could work together he would be even more successful.  

“I have a couple of people volunteering to prepare meals at home, but a central place would be best,” Michael said. “I'm trying first to get both the resources in place to put meals together, as well as get in contact with the school district, all while balancing two jobs where I work from home . . .  and getting my pregnant wife to and from doctor appointments.” 

There are a few reasons why Michael is working to find a kitchen to prepare the meals.  The first, he said it that the City of Glen Cove is economically diverse. 

“My wife and I make a decent middle class living and still have difficulties getting ahead,” he said, “so I can only imagine what the less fortunate struggle with.” 

His second reason is his faith and his upbringing, he said, which has taught him to be a “giving and good person.” 

Michael said that the idea to supply meals to those who need them originated on the Facebook group, “Glen Cove Neighbors,” where many residents have been offering ideas and services to help those who may need food, someone to run errands for them, child-care and even a safe place to stay. 

“If you’re elderly and have no one around to help you with groceries or any kind of errand needed and are concerned to go out in crowded places . . . please reach out to this group,” Samantha Jennifers posted on March 13. “Myself and many others here in this community I’m sure would be happy to shop for you”

It’s important to remember the people at risk,” said Jennifers, 32, who works in sales at Oyster Bay’s BMW. “They may be scared to go out and about. Also, the craziness at the stores — they shouldn’t have to deal with that.”

People are hoarding things, she added, not realizing that others may need the household items and food. “Everyone just needs to remember to step up and help out is all,” she said. 

That is why Glen Cove resident Alex Kern said he has decided to donate his vacation home in the Catskills, which he lists for rental. “If you are elderly or have an underlying health situation, I am opening my vacation house that we rent on Airbnb Upstate NY for you and your loved ones free of charge — six bedroom, three baths,” he wrote on the Facebook’s Glen Cove Neighbors on March 16. “Will pick the family most in need.” 

Kern said that he’s already received a few requests and that he would make his decision by March 17.  “I’m just trying to help,” Kern said. “If everyone did their part then it would make it easier.” 

Jeanine DiMenna, a co-owner of the View Grill, reached out a week ago on Facebook offering sanitizers and wipes to residents that could not find them in the store. She said that 30 people took her up on the offer.

“I can get it in bulk,” she said. “I thought I could order extra for people who don’t have it. It’s unnerving what’s going on. We have to pull together as a team.”

One resident took to the Facebook group to supplement a need of her own, while also supplementing the needs of others. 

“If you need to go to work but have no one to watch your kids PM me,” wrote Heather Lehrman, who runs a pet-service from her home, which she said is insured and bonded. “I wish I could do it for free but I don't make any money running my own business right now. However, I will give you the best rate I can.”

She added that she has a computer for children to use for schoolwork and on her television has Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. 

Though Lehrman has mostly worked with animals for 10 years, as said she has experience with children. In 2014, Lehrman published the children’s book, “Bullied at the Dog Park,” and has since been reading the book at classrooms and events. 

And now that she is losing clients amid the coronavirus outbreak, she is hoping to offer affordable rates to parents looking for childcare, since the schools that often provide it are closed for the next two weeks. 

“I just want people to know my background that is geared to working with kids with the book,” Lehrman said. “I also work with animals and that’s what I do for a living, but right now people don’t need pet care because they’re home.”