Community group provides coronavirus support

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With schools shut down, churches going online and Lansing residents being encouraged to stay at home, local official and unofficial groups are creating resources to connect people with the help and information they need during the Coronavirus crisis.

The Lansing Community Listserv has created an online service to connect volunteers with those needing groceries, medications and other forms of support. A form for supporters and those in need can be found at http://bit.ly/lansingcommunity.

The group has also set up a telephone number (607-533-6046) where people without internet access or those unfamiliar or uncomfortable with online services can reach a member of the group directly or by leaving a message for them.

“We are a group of neighbors that facilitates neighbor-to-neighbor connections throughout the town between requesters with basic needs and helpers,” wrote Justin Smith, part of a six-person steering committee coordinating the effort.

Others in the group include Bronwyn Losey, Ellen Garcia, Judy Scott, Karen Edelstein and Lisa Campbell.

The listserv group currently focuses on groceries and medications, but Smith noted that once a connection is made, the volunteer and requester can determine how best to complete the request. The group will also provide referrals for needs beyond that basic set.

“Requesters and helpers can communicate with us by calling, emailing or filling out an online form, and direct conversation, once social distancing is no longer critical,” Smith wrote.

An email from the group notes that this is “an evolving effort of community outreach and support specific to the Lansing community. Now is the time to build on the strengths we have as a community to pull together to support our elders and anyone who is otherwise vulnerable to this outbreak.”

The group also points members to a crowd-sourced and continually evolving online document providing local information and sources of assistance at https://tinyurl.com/urxgoef. Residents can also join the Google group behind the effort by sending an email to lansing-ny-news-and-discussion+subscribe@googlegroups.com.

Lansing Town Hall

The Lansing Town Hall is closed through April 15, and the scheduled meetings of the Project Review Committee (April 2) and the Advisory Committee on the Power Plant Future (April 9) have been postponed. The Planning Board meeting scheduled for March 23 has been rescheduled for April 13.

Also, all recreation programs have been canceled until after spring break. Marriage licenses will be issued by appointment only – call 533-4142 to schedule a time and date.

Schools

Lansing Central Schools were closed on March 13; the annual school musical had its final performance that evening. The schools plan to re-open on April 12. In the meantime, instruction and materials will be delivered physically (by mail, delivered or picked-up) and virtually (online through applications and video or teleconferencing).

Students in grades seven through 12 can sign out a Chromebook for use at this time. Middle school requests should be sent to rphillips@lcsd.k12.ny.us and high school requests to mhildreth@lcsd.k12.ny.us; requests can be made by telephone by calling 607-533-3020 and following the prompts for the appropriate main office. The service will be extended to grades four through six once the school knows how many Chromebooks will be available.

Students who receive free and/or reduced lunch will continue to receive both breakfast and lunch from LCSD. These meals can be picked up or delivered to you on a daily basis. Contact the school district for more information.

The Lansing Food Pantry/Southern Tier Food Bank (www.foodbankst.org) and the Lansing Lunchbox program (http://bit.ly/Lunchbox20) can also help people meet their nutrition needs.

Library

The Lansing Community Library is closed through at least April 13. However, the library notes that its Wi-Fi network is available free in its parking lot.

Kids at home from school can enter the library’s seventh annual logo contest (entries available on the library website at lansinglibrary.org). Entries are due March 27, and the winner will be announced at the Library’s annual meeting on April 20 at 7 p.m. The library has scheduled the trustee and budget vote for April 21; ballots will be cast from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the library.

Churches

Lansing United Methodist Church’s worship services, Sunday School and Adult Forum, and book clubs are on hold. The church began online services on March 22 and every Sunday thereafter at 9:30 a.m. More information is available on the church’s website at lansingunited.org.

All Saints Roman Catholic Church has canceled all live masses until further notice. The church will livestream mass and prayer services three times a day - Mass at 9 a.m., the Angelus Prayer at noon, and the Adoration and Benediction at 8:30 p.m.

These services can be watched via Facebook or by going to the church’s website (netcatholic.org) and clicking on “Watch the Mass.” The church will be open for private prayer Saturdays (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and Sundays (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

The Tikkun v’Or Reform Temple canceled all services, meetings, programs and classes on March 13. Rabbi Brian Walt has been scheduling online morning and evening services - members should go to the temple’s website for a schedule.

The East Shore Christian Fellowship will be posting videos of its Sunday sermons on the church website. The congregation is also hosting its Ladies Bible Study on Zoom and providing services for those who are shut in or sheltered in place.

“We are also continuing to look at incorporating further changes to help us to minister to those around us in this whole new paradigm,” wrote Pastor Glenn Hulburt.

Holy Apostles Orthodox Church had a service on March 22 but had new guidance from its bishop to hold “services with only the essential people for holding them, so that the prayers are still being offered but they don’t constitute such large gatherings,”wrote Father Joel Brady.

“I am, as much as possible, providing people with resources for prayer and study at home and making myself available for pastoral and sacramental needs on more of an individual basis,” he said.

St. George Orthodox Church has temporarily halted all public worship, according to Father Matthew Binkewicz.

“The faithful may stop in to light a candle,” he said.

Father Matthew and Matushka Katrina will serve the Sunday Divine liturgy, and the public may listen to it on the church website under Sermons. The website is www.saintgeorgelansing.com.

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