One woman has more than 200 orders for face masks she’s sewing and giving away free.
A man is willing to fix broken vehicles on Sundays at no charge.
Someone else offered to grocery shop for homebound folks.
These and more than 16,000 other locals are part of the brand-new Horry County Citizens Crisis Response [HCCCR] group that had 15,000 folks on board during its first seven days.
Myrtle Beach attorney Jonny McCoy started the group.
“Knowing there are people in our community, regular middle-class folks who are about to be struggling because of this [corona] virus, made me realize people who already need charity are the first ones who’ll be in desperate situations," he said. “They’ll have no one to turn to except their neighbors.”
HCCCR’s Facebook page is filled with offers to help and requests for that help. People who need help can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“People in and around Horry County want a hand and a say in their fate when dealing with the coronavirus and the economic impacts of it,” McCoy said.
HCCCR is a place where he said “people who want to help can find the people who need the help.”
The group’s executive director, Jennifer Mullen, said the 501 C3 nonprofit has already partnered with Meals on Wheels of Horry County, [MOW] providing them with equipment, supplies and money.
Meals on Wheels delivers food to home-bound people, mostly senior citizens, who are unable to prepare or shop for their own food.
To decrease person-to-person contact during the coronavirus crisis, MOW will deliver frozen meals weekly instead of fresh meals daily.
Along with the equipment, supplies and money HCCCR has already helped MOW with, volunteers will also man the phones and be the liaisons between new clients and MOW.
“It’s incredible how this has grown out of nothing, but we have tens of thousands of people in this county who want to help their neighbors, and thousand of people who need help,” Mullen said. “People are already hungry.”
Almost immediately, HCCCR had requests for food and diapers.
Seamstress Lindsay Cortese is offering the face masks she’s making to whosoever will, and is willing to teach other people how to make them.
“It’s a way for them to connect with people and to give a piece of themselves,” the Myrtle Beach resident said.
“This is something I can do, and I want to help.”
Conway resident Stevie Winfield said, “It’s kind of in our blood to help,” about her 911 dispatcher husband Greg and herself.
The stay-at-home mother of three has offered to prepare food for people and to provide childcare for first responders.
“Really, we will help with whatever we can so nobody goes without.” She said.
McCoy said one of the most rewarding things HCCCR did early on was to deliver a refrigerator to a 93-year-old woman.
“We’re a small, tightly-knit neighborhood of 15,000 neighbors and it’s phenomenal to have 15,000 people in one place,” he said.
He explained that volunteers contact HCCCR through its Facebook page and fill out an application describing what services they can provide.
“If a volunteer says they can drive to Loris or are in Loris and we get a request from Loris, we pair those people up and we’re done.”
McCoy anticipates the group continuing even after the coronavirus crisis has passed.
He said “high on the list” of issues to help with is the heroin/opioid epidemic in the county. That and violence go hand-in-hand, he said.
HCCCR trained volunteers “will go to the people in recovery and we will formulate a plan to attack this disease on the front lines.”
Mullen looks forward to that.
“We will be a long-term organization in this area and we’ll be able to fill in the cracks where the government isn’t able to reach everyone,” she said. “This group says a lot about the spirit and the love of the people in this community.”