Incline philanthropists create programs to help a community in need
Tahoe Daily Tribune
BY THE NUMBERS BOX
The Mask Drive-
· 200 masks sewn by Incline Village residents were distributed to the Boys & Girls Club
· As of April 21, the Angel At Your Door material machinists made and distributed more than 350 masks
Feed Our Heroes-
· Up to 50 meals are distributed to the Incline Village Community Hospital per week: 20 on Tuesdays, 20 on Thursdays, and 10 on Saturdays
Geno Angel Family Grants-
· In the first week that the grant program was launched, $32,000 was raised and distributed to 48 Incline Village families in need
· Geno Angel Family Grants range from $500-$1,000 per qualifying family unit
Angel Business Grants-
· Available to Incline Village small businesses, self-employed people, and sole proprietors facing financial hardship from the coronavirus in amounts ranging from $1,000-$10,000.
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — About a month ago, longtime resident and Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline former president Linda Offerdahl launched the Angel At Your Door Community Assistance Program.
The program was created with the help of both the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline and the Rotary Club of Incline Village in response to businesses and people suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to help at-risk community members get through these tough times through the monetary donations made into the COVID-19 Angel Fund and a community volunteer program.
“When we saw what was happening (with COVID-19), we realized that we needed a much bigger response,” Offerdahl said about how the Incline Village Rotary Clubs and herself worked together to launch Angel At Your Door. She adds that the program’s main mission is to help the community and give them the resources they need to help themselves.
“Part one of this program is that we created a volunteer database where residents are encouraged to share their time, talents and treasures in a grassroots effort to help those in need,” Offerdahl said. “For instance, we have a mask drive where locals are sewing masks and distributing them to people who need them. Last weekend, we provided at least 200 masks to the Boys & Girls Club all in different sizes.”
Fellow Incline Village Resident Lettie Miller is heading up the mask drive and during the interview for this article, she and her grandson were busy picking up and delivering the masks.
“Linda said she had some cloth materials and gave me the names of people who liked to sew, knowing that I like to sew, too,” Miller said. “So, then I contacted them, and we figured out how to make the masks. I’m the delivery and materials management person.”
It takes intermediate/advanced seamstresses anywhere from 15 minutes to a half-hour to make the masks and 350 of them have been created and distributed so far.
“The other masks have been placed at businesses that are still open, like Rainbow Printing and Raley’s,” Miller says. The masks that they are distributing are complimentary and Miller adds that people have been very generous about donating money and materials to the drive.
Another way to volunteer is through Angel At Your Door’s Feed Our Heroes program where people can support local restaurants and healthcare workers by ordering takeout food and delivering it to essential workers who are working tirelessly to help combat COVID-19.
“I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Tahoe-Incline for many years and my friend owns a couple of restaurants in Reno and launched a Feed Our Heroes Program there,” Rotarian Denise Menzies said.
She reached out to Karli Epstein, the executive director of Tahoe Forest Health System, to see if there was any need at the Incline Village hospital. Epstein told Menzies that hospital workers always appreciate food.
Angel At Your Door volunteers began frequenting local open restaurants to order and buy food for hospital workers, delivering it to them three days a week.
“My daughter is a senior at Incline High School, and she started baking desserts for the hospital. Desserts can be homemade but hot food or entrees must come from the restaurants,” Menzies said, and added that her daughter received a personal thank you note from a healthcare worker grateful that so many people in the community were thinking of them.
“There are simple grassroots efforts and Angel At Your Door just provides an outlet for connecting volunteers to those in need,” Offerdahl said.
Menzies is also very involved with the Geno Angel Family Grants that was recently created under the Angel At Your Door program to provide families with basic living necessities during this time in need.
“I read the thank you notes, and I cry,” Menzies said. “They are so sweet; a lot of times they are written by the kids whose parents have lost their jobs, and how this helped them get food and pay their rent.”
“To see their reactions, and read their letters, it’s heart wrenching,” she added. “People are trying to keep their homes and their families alive; all of us are trying to preserve our life here in Incline Village. These are our neighbors, people we see everywhere all the time who are suddenly out of work. I love being a Rotarian and the generosity of spirit within this community, from the people who are giving to the thanks we get. Then you get the bug and ask, how can I help more?”
Angel At Your Door also includes a grants program for local small businesses and self-employed workers in the amounts of $1,000-$10,000.
“When I owned [the former Dress the Part(y) store in Incline Village] I realized how little support there was for the local business community; the ICBA (Incline Village Community Business Association) received no funding from the county or anyone. Many businesses are small locally run storefronts and I’m afraid that many of them are going to fall through the cracks with trying to get these SBA loans,” Offerdahl said.
Angel At Your Door is asking for donors to contribute to the Geno Angel Family Grants or the Angel Business Grants to the COVID-19 Angel Fund through its website at https://angelatyourdoor.org/.
Kayla Anderson is a reporter for the Tribune and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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