NORTH ROYALTON – Thanks to a member of the North Royalton City Council, city residents will now be able to receive assistance and information during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ward 3 Councilman Dan Langshaw created the North Royalton Ward 3 Neighborhood Buddy Program to keep residents connected to news, food and other services and to help them get through this pandemic safely.
“I got inspired to create the program by listening to my residents’ needs, being concerned for the elderly and residents with pre-existing conditions that don’t have Facebook or use the Internet that often and to ensure the vulnerable and hard-to-reach community members are taken care of during this COVID-19 emergency,” he said.
In this program, Langshaw explained, volunteers will contact their assigned buddies on a daily basis or on a frequent basis agreed upon by both parties.
“The volunteer buddy will have an emergency contact of their buddy in case they are unable to be reached,” he explained. “The volunteer buddy, when contacting their assigned buddy, will go through a basic checklist to ensure their buddy is okay and then can discuss anything they like to talk about as buddies.”
While this new program originated in Ward 3, Langshaw said, those living in other wards of the city who want a buddy in this program will not be turned away because he believes everyone in the North Royalton community needs to look after each other in this emergency situation.
Langshaw strongly urged any communication done between buddies should be done by phone, e-mail, video chat, social media or other technological means to help slow the spread of coronavirus. After the two buddies get in contact, they are told to e-mail Langshaw with an update that they have made contact and whether either party needs assistance. He urged everybody involved to take all appropriate safety measures to not put themselves at risk during this pandemic.
“Due to the generosity of some members of the community, we also have homemade masks that each person gets when signing up for the program,” Langshaw added. “When using the masks, we ask that folks put them in the washer and dryer after use to stay safe.”
Langshaw said his biggest goal in launching the North Royalton Ward 3 Buddy Program is to reach out to community members who are hard to reach and those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Any Ward 3 residents or community members interested in volunteering to be a buddy are encouraged to contact Langshaw via e-mail at email@example.com, online at danlangshaw.com/contact or by phone at 440-785-4240. The councilman will then pair two buddies together, make the initial introductions and provide a buddy program checklist before the buddies determine the frequency and means of check-ins. He said all efforts will be made to ensure people in the same neighborhood will be paired up.