xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

Our View: Thumbs up for Carroll County creativity in face of coronavirus, Keymar blood drive

THUMBS UP: No one has a complete playbook for how to best handle the coronavirus pandemic we’re all doing our best to deal with. Some have more essential supplies than others, sure, but the widespread disruption caused by COVID-19 is unprecedented and dangerous for many. That said, there are plenty of Carroll County companies and nonprofits that are doing a standout job at navigating the crisis with creativity and generosity. Here are just a few.

Local Homestead Products LLC, an on-farm market in New Windsor, is not only continuing to operate, but is also helping other Carroll businesses to do so. The businesses, by Trevor and Victoria Hoff, has become a hub for local businesses to sell some of their products. The variety of local businesses includes Uncle Matty’s in New Windsor, Molli’s Cafe in Westminster, Starry Night bakery in Westminster and Whispering Breeze in Taneytown. And it wasn’t a big task, Victoria told us. “Our market is based around local businesses even before all of this started, so a lot of the local restaurants bought produce from us, of course, the things that we were growing. So our relationship was kind of already opened up through us supplying them with produce,” she said. It’s an approach that seems to work well for the market, the other small businesses and the consumer.

Advertisement

Two Carroll distilleries are participating in a trend that is providing hand sanitizer in a time when it’s very much in demand. MISCellaneous Distillery in Mount Airy and Patapsco Distilling Company in Sykesville have shifted gears to begin making the product. It’s surely not what they would be preferring to do, but it’s extremely good of them to do — and probably makes good business sense, too. They were well equipped to produce the alcohol needed to begin with, so we’re all for it.

There’s no question that there are parts of the population especially vulnerable to not just the coronavirus, but the ripples it has sent throughout our society as well. And the agencies and nonprofits that serve many of those more vulnerable individuals are working hard to find ways to continue services, while keeping everyone involved healthy and safe. The Shepherd’s Staff is continuing with its other services as best as possible on an appointment-only basis. Some of their usual services, such as emergency financial assistance with rent, are not needed at this moment thanks to Hogan’s halting evictions and water shutoffs, but there’s no question that most of their services will be needed in a big way in the months ahead. Carroll County Food Sunday is also working to provide essential services while keeping everyone involved, a task that is proving difficult. It doesn’t help that a significant chunk of the food bank’s clients are food-insecure seniors, who are particularly at risk for the coronavirus. On two days this past week, though, they did distribute shelf-stable, nonperishable foods from the East Middle School parking lot. Access Carroll, which provides health and dental care to low-income people, has continued to operate, though they started screening anyone entering the building for symptoms of the coronavirus. And their regular appointments, as much as possible, are being conducted through remote video sessions. Human Services Programs of Carroll County Inc., which operates Carroll’s emergency and homeless shelters, including the cold weather shelter, is also staying open. HSP staff are meeting with people for services such as rapid rehousing, and they are also going out to homeless encampments and touching base with people. Department of Social Services programs — such as SNAP benefits, child support services and home energy assistance — are still functioning, but anyone who needs help can call 1-800-332-6347 or visit www.mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us.

Advertisement

THUMBS UP: The American Red Cross has put out a call for help, and a Keymar church answered that call. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing an “unprecedented” number of blood drive cancellations, leading to a severe blood shortage. According to a Red Cross spokesperson, as of Sunday there were 6,500 blood drives canceled nationwide, resulting in more than 200,000 uncollected units of blood. While others were canceling, Keysville Evangelical Lutheran Church held a blood drive March 23, and turnout was strong. According to organizer Rebecca Engel, this drive had more registered participants than they’ve ever seen at one. “People have called and wanted to give, that we don’t usually have on the schedule,” she told us. It might not be front of mind for many people, but donated blood can be an essential need for many, and it’s essential for the survival of others that we all keep that in mind amid this shortage, which is likely to end up being historic. Of course, the Red Cross has implemented measures to ensure blood drives and donation centers keep both donors and staff safe during the pandemic, and the church followed those new measures.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement