MONTCLAIR, NJ – A Montclair family is looking to help organize volunteers to help fight COVID-19 in the Montclair community.
Chris Auer, a software engineer, joined by his sons Jude, 7, a student at Watchung Elementary; Cole, 4, student at Watchung Coop, and Lizeth Murillo, 24, their au pair, were interested in volunteering their time to help the medical staff on the front lines of the battle.
“There is a growing movement of DIYers and makers using their skills to create PPE for medical staff, so we jumped in and started printing and assembling face shields over the weekend,” says Auer, who said the family was inspired by YouTuber SmarterEveryDay’s recent video on the grassroots effort he put together.
Auer and his sons spent the past weekend printing PPE for local medical staff, but quickly realized their efforts could be multiplied and have a significantly larger impact in Montclair if there was a group of volunteers focusing on a grassroots effort to organize and bring structure to volunteering in response to COVID-19.
“The problem came in when we were ready to deliver the face shields we created,” says Auer.”We realized there was an entire infrastructure needed that was currently not in place to ensure safe and efficient delivery of PPEs we were producing.”
Delivering PPEs that are disinfected and ready for use in the medical community isn’t the only effort the community needs volunteers to help with, Auer says.
Now, Auer and his family have shifted efforts to create a grassroots effort dedicated to bringing together the community of individuals volunteering time to help the Montclair community in this time of need.
By creating an organization of volunteers, Auer hopes to amplify the effects of individual efforts, and most importantly, do so in a way that is thoughtful of the safety and wellbeing of volunteers and those in need alike.
If you are interested in learning more, you can sign up here at Montclair Fights COVID-19. Auer hopes to hold a first group video call with a goal of beginning to self organize by this weekend.