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Chamber Ambassador group starts clearinghouse for local assistance efforts

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place order, the Medford Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors group is working to connect people in need with volunteers willing to lend a hand.

The group is using social media to connect those who want to lend a hand with those who need assistance. According to ambassador Sue Ackerman, branch manager of AbbyBank, the chamber has been getting calls from business and individuals asking what they can do to help others in the community.

Sue Emmerich of the Medford Area Chamber of Commerce gave the Ambassadors the challenge to develop a clearinghouse for people who need help to ask and where those who want to help can volunteer their time.

Ackerman along with fellow Ambassadors Billie Hartwig and Alycia Nowak developed a “Medford Chamber Resource Page” on Facebook where people can share resources.

She said the way it will work is that people will private message the page with requests or offers to help. Chamber staff will then connect the person offering a volunteer or service to those who are in need of assistance.

“If you know someone in need, send us a private message and we will connect the person with volunteers,” Ackerman said. She explained they are having people go through the messaging rather than posting identifying information to prevent negative situations from occurring and to keep within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Health Services limits as far as face to face contact and social distancing.

They have set up the following guidelines: —If you are in need of assistance, send a private message with your request. Organizers will connect you with someone to help. For example, do you need someone to pick up and deliver your groceries to you?

—If you are willing to volunteer, put that in a post on the page, and they will contact you.

How to get help: — Private message us; or — Call 715-748-4729 The page was launched on Tuesday morning and Ackerman said it has already gotten traffic from businesses looking to volunteer and three different individuals wanting to volunteer. She said the page is built on the idea that “We Are Stronger Together.”

Ackerman said they are not looking to replace any groups that already serve in the community, but to supplement those efforts. She said they plan to keep the page going even after the current COVID- 19 crisis is over and hope it becomes a conduit for people to connect with those in need.