Important Volunteer Update
Volunteers of Tempe Community Action Agency,
The families, adults, and seniors we serve are among the most vulnerable in our community. Keeping them, as well as our staff and volunteers safe in this period of uncertainty is of paramount importance.
TCAA is continuing to operate to help ensure the basic and emergency needs of our most vulnerable neighbors can be met as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
Our first concern is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, clients, and their household members within our community. We are working with our partners to address concerns daily and are closely monitoring information from the CDC, state and county sources to help ensure the actions we are taking are in line with the latest recommendations.
Program-specific changes which may impact volunteer involvement for the immediate future include the following:
• Senior congregate meal services held at Tempe senior centers are on hold as City senior centers are closed. In lieu of this, TCAA will be offering a drive-through (“to go”) meal service for congregate meal participants in Tempe. The drive-through service will be offered Monday through Friday at the North Tempe site.
• Senior congregate meal services in Scottsdale will continue
• The Home-Delivered Meal services in Tempe and Scottsdale will continue
• The Home-Delivered Meal service will be expanded to seniors in Tempe who are enrolled in and impacted by the temporary hold on Congregate Meals at the Tempe sites and who are unable to use the drive-through meal service.
• The Food Pantry program anticipates increased demand and as such, is taking extra preventative measures by disinfecting surfaces frequently, among other steps
• The Community Gardens should place a temporary hold on large group gatherings such as community workdays, but ongoing volunteer involvement and garden activities for small gatherings can continue
• The I-HELP program is continuing to offer shelter and meals for our clients and will make adjustments to shelter locations based on communication from each host partner
• The Neighbors Helping Neighbors program is discontinuing trips to the grocery store for clients and food box delivery will be arranged instead. This is being managed by our team of social workers who are in close communication with clients.
Guidelines for volunteers:
We humbly ask your assistance with the following to help reduce the potential spread of this virus, to protect yourselves, clients, and employees, and to ensure we can continue to offer services that are much needed by the community now more than ever before:
• We are supplying staff with a tool kit of cleaning and disinfecting supplies including gloves, disinfectant wipes and spray, antibacterial gel, and so forth to be used at each TCAA site.
• All volunteers are asked to wash their hands before and after their service and to wear gloves at all times during their service.
• It is imperative for everyone to cover coughs and/or sneezes with a tissue or inside your elbow. Be sure to wash hands after doing so.
• We appreciate all volunteer support and commitment, but ask that anyone who is not feeling well stay home. Be sure to communicate your schedule cancelation to Deb Bacorn at DebraB@tempeaction.org.
• Some groups are at greater risk of becoming ill or suffering complications. Vulnerable groups include people 60 years of age or older and those with certain health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and weakened immune systems. If this describes you, please do not risk exposure, even if you are feeling well. Stay home to best protect yourself.
• Volunteers who have been ill recently with a fever or who have traveled to areas of known concern: we ask that they allow a 14-day period prior to returning to TCAA volunteer work. List of high-risk areas according to the CDC.
We are committed to keeping our employees, volunteers, partners and clients informed of changing circumstances. We will use email alerts, social media, and our website to make announcements and provide updates as the situation changes in the future.
Additionally, we are monitoring volunteer involvement and may be in need of additional volunteers in the very near future. In normal circumstances, we rely on an average of 20 volunteers to ensure basic food and shelter services are offered. We anticipate the need for food donations may also increase. Please check our website for updates on immediate needs.
TCAA remains dedicated to our mission and will continue to serve our neighbors in need with help from people like you, of our incredible volunteer team.
For the latest information, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19.