LUV is Locally United Volunteers, an organisation of people willing give up their time to help Bundaberg’s most vulnerable during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bargara local Annie McGrath came up with the concept of Locally United Volunteers after she found one of her elderly friends, who had returned home from hospital was “too scared” to leave her home.
“My friend, who will turn 83 this year, had just returned home from being in hospital and when we were speaking she got really upset,” Annie said.
“She told me she didn’t have any food and was too scared to leave the house as she is one of the vulnerable people when it comes to Coronavirus. She had gone something like four days without a main meal.
“I was shocked and saddened by this and immediately went to the shop and bought a hot chook and some veggies for her.”
It was her friend's story that Annie said got her thinking about others facing the same situation.
Annie said she decided to brainstorm with her close friend Lynette and the duo came up with the idea to start a social media page to help other vulnerable people who might not be able to leave there home.
Annie said it was Lynette’s insight into how proud the region’s most loved, lived and vulnerable are and how much they needed help at this time of uncertainty, that sparked the idea of Locally United Volunteers.
“There are many residents who are in self-quarantine, or the elderly, who are very proud people and they don’t know how to ask for help,” she said.
“They are not able to go to the shops because of the Coronavirus and are opting to stay home – even some with no food.
“With the Coronavirus Pandemic disrupting every day life, our vulnerable and elderly residence are staying silent and secluded in their homes.”
“They are staying silent about how much help they actually need, and that’s why we are doing this.”
Annie said it was 3am on Saturday morning when she sprang out of bed after speaking with her grandson Deakyn the day before about uniting people to help.
“Deakyn said to me, churches are united, why not volunteers?” Annie said.
“That’s how we came up with Locally United Volunteers, which is LUV, it just fit so perfectly.”
Offering to help with Locally United Volunteers
Annie said volunteers could perform a number of tasks including food delivery or assisting with technology, or even just having a chat over the phone to help people stay connected.
“The groups purpose is to pull together to help others in need,” she said.
“A lot of older people don’t know how to use computers, or even Netflix or social media, and we’ve seen how important these connections have become in the last two weeks, so if someone is willing to give their time to help, it’s really appreciated.”
Annie said wiithin 24 hours of Locally United Volunteers forming on Facebook, 50 locals had shown an interest to help.
“We are in the baby stages at the moment with setting up LUV, but I am blown away by the response from community members who are willing to reach out and help,” she said.
“People have message me with offers to give us things to put into care packages.
“Leonie from Melting Moments, who does an amazing job and keeps her meal prices quite low, has offered for people to order their meals and one of the LUV volunteers will collect and deliver it to the person in need.”
Annie said at the moment they were calling for people interested in helping to join the Locally United Volunteers Facebook page to find out how they could assist.
“I still can’t believe that an idea to help started on Saturday and now it’s exploded,” she said.
“I’m a celebrant and community is important to me, and it’s absolutely lovely to see this response during the time of need.”
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