New Kamloops group connects people with services, necessities

Volunteers needed

A new online movement to spread kindness has popped up in the Tournament Capital.

Local resident AnnMarie Aase created the Facebook group "Caremongering – Kamloops" just over a week ago. The goal is to help those in need, share creative ways to stay sane while staying home and support local businesses.

In just seven days, the group ballooned to more than 2,500 members and posts got more frequent, with people offering everything from online yoga to virtual cooking classes. 

"If you scroll down the Facebook page, it’s unbelievable what they’ve come up with," says coordinator Gisela Ruckert about all the offers. "We want to put all those wonderful things on a more structured platform."

With help from ROI Media Works and Adroit Technologies, Ruckert and her team have created a website called kamloopscares.ca. Once fully functional, the web portal will be able to match offers from volunteers with requests from those who need help.

"If somebody in Juniper is house-bound, and they have a dog that needs walking, they can put in a request for a dog walker and the neighbourhood captain will get that request, go through the offers and match them up with somebody who volunteers to do dog walking in Juniper," Ruckert explains. 

She notes while in-person services will be available as needed, the idea is to provide as much connection as possible through virtual means. It's also a "neighbourhood-based system."

"We’re trying to reduce the amount of driving around and the contact between people and the parts of town," she says.

Around 50 or so volunteers have signed up so far. However, they need more to make the program work, says Ruckert.

They'll start granting requests once they have a good pool of volunteers. The goal is get everything up and running by the end of the week.

Volunteers out in the community will be following social distancing and disinfecting guidelines, she adds, noting safety is their number one priority.

To sign up to be a volunteer, click here.

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