North Van helpers eager to find more people to help

Whether you need to fill a prescription or fill up a pantry, there’s someone in North Vancouver to help.

In a bid to ensure everyone is supported during the pandemic, North Vancouver real estate agent Jacquie McCarnan started the Facebook page: COVID19 Coming Together (North Vancouver). In two days, the group counted 800 members from Deep Cove to Lower Lower Lonsdale to Upper Capilano.

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“The only problem we’re having is that almost all of those 800 people want to help whereas we don’t have a whole lot of people who are asking for help,” she said Wednesday.

By Thursday, the group had 20 drivers sign up to deliver goods for Save-On-Foods on a volunteer basis. In Lynn Valley, Magda Figueredo and Alvero Peralta teamed up to pick up new reading glasses for Cherie Bell, who didn’t think it wise to risk exposure in the store.

“She was delighted with them and they are now connected for anything she needs going forward,” McCarnan explained. “This is exactly why I created this group.”

Volunteers also plastered posters around independent living centres and shopping centres to reach out to seniors and immunocompromised people who might need some help.

“People are afraid, particularly seniors who’ve been told that they are the most susceptible and of course anyone who’s immunosuppressed. So if we can help out, that’s what everyone wants to do,” she said.

Help could range from a home haircut –which McCarnan recently arranged – to a grocery run to help a single mother who can’t leave the kids at home. Group members are also willing to raise people’s spirits through conversation.

“People have offered to call seniors and chat with them and allay their fears a little bit,” McCarnan said.

On Facebook the mood is largely upbeat.

“I don’t want anything posted there that could possibly be controversial,” she said. “It has to be asking for help, needing help, or hyper-localized North Vancouver [news].”

Noting she’s garnered 300 members for her real estate page in four years, McCarnan said she was “blown away” by the response. 

“People were just sitting, waiting for ways to help out.”

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