Always Vigilant for our Aging and Home-bound Neighbors

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Current needs: April 20, 2020

Volunteering during COVID

General Guidelines for Volunteers provided by Alabama Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (ALVOAD):
DO NOT attempt to volunteer for any activity if in the last 14 days you have:
       • Traveled to any foreign country or to California, Washington, New York, Washington D.C., or Chicago (this list may change on short notice)
      • Been on a cruise or been in an airport
     • Been around anyone who has COVID-19
     • Been to an event where more than 250 people were in attendance
DO NOT show up to volunteer for any activity without confirming that there is a need for the activity, that it will be conducted, and that volunteer support is needed and expected.
BEFORE arriving for a volunteer shift, call ahead to the service agency and ask if any additional safety precautions should be taken before, during and after the shift.
ALLOW extra time for additional screening from volunteer organizations or agencies to make sure you are cleared to volunteer for the task.
EXPECT that shifts or opportunities may be cancelled; especially volunteer opportunities working with the vulnerable populations. Please be gracious and understanding.
DO practice universal infection control precautions. Clean and wash your hands before, during, and after volunteering.
DO clean any used spaces thoroughly before and after, including tabletop surfaces and doorknobs/handles.
DO use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if needed for the task.
DO maintain 6-10 foot separation from others while conducting the task.
ASK about any risk that may be associated with the task and DO NOT take part if you are uncomfortable with the level of risk.

DONATIONS ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME:

ITEMS NEEDED FOR ISOLATION KITS

Underlined items below are our current greatest need!
  • Low Sodium/Heart Health Canned Soups
  • Low Sodium Canned Veggies
  • Heart Health Cereals (low or no sugar added)
  • Dry Milk/Evaporated Milk
  • Canned spam or vienna sausages
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
  • Canned Fruit (no sugar added)
  • Spaghetti Sauces
  • Peanut Butter
  • Pasta
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Beans
  • Bread
  • Eggs
  • Cereal (no sugar added)
  • Oatmeal (smaller containers)
  • Cleaning supplies (dish soap, laundry detergent, clorox wipes, lysol)
  • Toiletries (toothpaste, body soap (bar or liquid), hand soap (bar or liquid), shampoo, conditioner)

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF APRIL 7th FOR CASA OF MADISON COUNTY

What we have learned in the last 24 days is that:

  • Our aging and home bound neighbors are a vulnerable population, which is now recognized by the entire nation, 
  • CASA of Madison County matters to this population,
  • Our clients are resilient and many of these individuals know how to handle crisis situations, 
  • A simple phone call can be the lifeline for our lonely community members, 
  • CASA has dedicated volunteers and donors that are ready and willing to step up when there is a need. 

CASA of Madison County temporarily shut our offices and stopped our services in order to protect the health of our staff, volunteers, and clients.  We are happy to report that everyone will be back to work beginning Wednesday, April 8th. Upon our return, we will be working to meet the needs that had to be put on hold prior to our closing.  

We can only accept donations of specific requested items by appointment.  Staff requests that you call the office (256-533-775) prior to delivering your donation. Monetary donations are vital, as well as, by helping us safely purchase and deliver our clients’ basic needs. Donations can be made online or mailed to the office (CASA of Madison County, 701 Andrew Jackson Way, Huntsville, AL 35801).

Our volunteer transportation service continues to be on hold until it is safe.  Wheelchair ramp installations continue to be on hold, as the six feet of separation is not always possible.  Some ramp services continue when it can be done safely for volunteers and the clients.  

It is important to all of us at CASA that everyone adhere to the Stay At Home order issued by local and state officials.  We hope that everyone is safe and staying healthy. We are ready to get back to providing all of our services, but we maintain our mission by keeping our clients safe in their homes.

COVID-19 Exposure: 

To our Volunteers, Donors, and Clients: 

We want to inform you that a member of CASA’s staff has tested positive for COVID-19. As of the time of this memo, that staff member and all other staff members are doing well. All of CASA’s staff is self-quarantining and we are staying in touch with them to monitor their health and address any needs they may have. 

We are not aware of any CASA volunteers or clients that have been infected.

On Thursday, March 12, 2020, to minimize the risk of infection, CASA modified its procedures to limit visitors to the CASA office, to follow social distancing guidelines inside and outside CASA’s office, and to limit personal contact between staff, volunteers, and clients. Still, an infection has occurred. We do not know how or where – this virus is truly an invisible invader. 

All of CASA’s services have been suspended and our office is closed until we are assured that it is safe to continue operations. To the extent possible, our staff is working from home to respond to all calls, voicemails, and emails. We will continue to support our clients as best we can by finding alternative ways to serve their needs – for we know their needs continue.

We encourage everyone to be on heightened alert and to be vigilant. Protect yourself. Limit contact with others. Adhere to social distancing guidelines. Follow hygiene guidelines. Minimize or eliminate trips away from home.

And, if you have a fever, shortness of breath, a cough, and/or any other symptoms, call your doctor immediately.

CASA remains committed to enabling the aging and home bound to live at home independently, safely, and with dignity.  

We have to do it differently now; and, we will get through this together.

If you have any questions, please fell free to contact us:

David Cochran, President 

CASA’s Board of Directors

256-808-8610

davidcochran614@gmail.com

Ann Anderson, Executive Director

256-533-7775

ann@casamadisoncty.org

UPDATE AS OF WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020: 

Our offices will be closed until Friday, April 3rd.  We are taking necessary precautions at this time for the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients. The staff will be working from home, checking emails and phone messages daily.  All volunteer services have been stopped temporarily. More updates will be posted in the coming days as we continue to evaluate the best method to care for our clients, their families, our staff, and volunteers.  Thank you for your support and we ask that you continue to stay home, keep your distance, and sanitize constantly. 

CASA's COVID RESPONSE

CASA is implementing the following safety procedures for our staff and volunteers.  
 
  • Staff is monitoring our own health by taking temperatures at home each day, along with the health of our families. We are following all sanitizing guidelines for all work areas. We will also be wearing gloves during all pick-ups and deliveries.
  • Under no circumstances should volunteers or staff come into direct contact with our clients. Clients are being instructed to not allow volunteers or outside guests into their homes. 
  • We are asking that only staff enter our offices at this time.
  • We have established a “Grab and Go” process for our pickup and drop off of donations at the awning in the front of the building. Please contact our offices upon arrival. All are being asked to remain in their vehicles and office staff will unload or load items. 
  • Our volunteer transportation services will be suspended temporarily, for the safety of both our volunteers and clients. In the event a CASA volunteer is contacted directly by a CASA client to request a ride, it is our policy in all circumstances, to direct them to contact the CASA office to request services.  Public transportation tickets will be sent out when appropriate.
  • Our clients are asked to communicate with their doctors to determine if an in office appointment is necessary. They are being advised to reschedule appointments or use tele-doc services to keep them at home and out of the public.  
  • Our deliveries are focusing on our most vulnerable clients. Under no circumstance should volunteers delivering come into contact with the client. To observe the 6’ separation, volunteers will notify the client of arrival and volunteers are to leave the items at the front door, volunteers should watch from their vehicles to make sure the bag is retrieved by the client.
  • In-home interactions with new or established clients have been discontinued at this time. This will effect the installation of our fall prevention measures of grab bars and handrails, temporarily. This will also postpone any new client services.
  • After Sunday, March 22nd, our wheelchair ramp building will be suspended until further notice. Effectively immediately, all other wheelchair ramp services will be suspended.
  • Until further notice, the CASA Vegetable Garden will be closed to the public and all volunteers. 
  •  CASA of Madison County’s focus at this time, and at all times, is the safety of our clients and our volunteers. As a volunteer, you are always welcome to decline volunteer opportunities if at any time you do not feel safe. We are urging our older volunteers to stay in and stay healthy.
  • We will continue to provide the services to assist clients in maintaining social separation and isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while continuing to promote health and safety by delivering isolation kits, delivering medical equipment, and providing telephone reassurance. 
We thank you for your continued support of CASA of Madison County!
STATEMENT MADE ON FRIDAY, MARCH 13 2020:
CASA of Madison County’s staff and Board of Directors are working together to best serve our most vulnerable population every day, as we have for more than 40 years. In times like this, we have always worked diligently to be able to continue meeting the needs of our aging neighbors in our community.  We will safely be providing services to support our clients for as long as possible. 
 
We have put measures in place for identifying clients who are currently at the greatest risk of contracting any contagious disease.  We are working to provide needed items to these identified, high-risk clients, as soon as possible.
 
We are also mindful of the health of our staff and volunteers.  So, volunteers are being asked to keep direct contact with clients to a minimum and all interactions with staff will be minimal.  Staff is monitoring their health and have been instructed to stay home at any sign of illness.  This is an all year long conversation in our office, and not a new policy. Our building has also instituted a policy of no outside meetings and to reduce any outside visitors, effective immediately.   
 
Our clients rely on CASA, and CASA relies on our community to care for our clients.  The need for YOUR help is at an all time high!  If you can, please consider how you can help CASA provide services to the most vulnerable in our community. For those of you who are unable to put hands and feet into action, please consider a monetary donation as we are purchasing more items for our clients’ basic needs, when we find them available. If you are able to find the following items to purchase and donate to CASA of Madison County, please call CASA to arrange delivery to our offices. 
 

Items needed: 

  • Small plastic bottles
  • Glucerna Snacks
  • Low Sodium/Heart Health Canned Soups
  • Low Sodium Canned Veggies
  • Heart Health Cereals (low or no sugar added)
  • Dry Milk
  • Canned spam or vienna sausages
  • Paper Towels
  • Toilet Paper
 
The staff, volunteers, and supporters of CASA of Madison County are honored to be in this community to enable our aging and home-bound neighbors to live at home independently, safely, and with dignity. 

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