A small but growing group of neighbors has been quietly changing their tiny corner of the universe.
After East Pasadena resident Emily Shnorhokian posted a message on her local online NextDoor bulletin board service, offering to deliver groceries and carry out errands for the elderly and medically vulnerable, more than 25 volunteers quickly offered to help.
Veronica Dolleschel, Gleason Bauer and Ann Julia Keegan eventually joined Shnorhokian to create the all-volunteer East Pasadena Neighbor to Neighbor Network (PasadenaN2N), which now serves nearly a dozen communities from Eaton Canyon to Garfield Heights and points in between.
Someone had upset the apple cart, and we needed to find a solution, Bauer told Pasadena Now Sunday. I didn’t want anyone to want for any essentials.
Working by computer and cell phone, the group developed a network, and quickly created procedures to match neighbors in need with willing volunteers in their neighborhoods. There are currently more than a dozen partnerships, among the 75 or so residents involved.
Were trying to do more (with the partnerships), said Bauer. Were trying to create commitments and new friendships.
We were inspired by the generosity and compassion expressed in the face of this crisis, and wanted to support our neighbors in meaningful ways, said Dolleschel. A network of one-to-one volunteer connections made sense, where the neighbor in need knows they have someone to contact close by.
Group organizers now hope to launch a local phone number to assist those neighbors without easy access to the Internet.
We know that many of our neighbors most in need are those who may only have landlines or simple cell phones, said Keegan.
The process is easy, said Shnorhokian. Pasadena N2N contacts both volunteers and neighbors in need with a simple form to complete. Once there is a match, a follow-up email is sent with resource lists of local grocery stores and pharmacies, information on payment forms, and guidelines for shopping and delivering essentials based on the CDCs recommended Health and Safety Practices. The partnership lasts for 14 days, and can be extended if both parties agree.
Weve taken care to provide a method that we believe allows everyone to build trust and meaningful bonds that will surpass this immediate crisis. said Bauer.
We are all in this together, Bauer added, and none of us can do it alone. Not now, and not as we move into this uncertain future.