March 20, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer
On Wednesday night, two Hingham residents launched the "Hingham Link" website, connecting members of the community with friendly phone calls and help during the Coronavirus scare, while keeping the need for "social distancing" in mind.
This is a volunteer service that links Hingham residents who would like to make calls with others who would like to receive calls while they’re feeling isolated from family and friends -- and connecting residents who need some assistance to get through the day with those who are happy to offer it.
This service is available to seniors, as well as other residents, who just want to connect with another person when they’re feeling alone, can't get out to pick up groceries, or who aren't sure who to call about a particular issue that's troubling them.
Volunteers wanting to make calls or to lend a helping hand, as well as those looking for assistance or an encouraging phone call, can sign up on the website -- hinghamlink.com. It's quick and easy to do!
This community connection will continue until it's no longer needed. All services are free, and more volunteers are welcome. Those requesting a call or services will be matched with a volunteer.
As of Thursday afternoon, there were already 14 volunteers to make calls and 12 who offered to help with the day-to-day things that make people feel better during what many consider to be a "scary" time.
The Hingham Link initiative came out of a conversation during a conference call for a local support group on Sunday, when one of the Hingham Link organizers and another participant -- a senior living in Hingham -- shared phone numbers after she said she felt lonely because she couldn't see her usual visitors, so he offered to keep in touch.
From this early reaching out to a neighbor came the idea to expand the effort to include the entire community -- calls that can be made without leaving the house but offer cheer and encouragement to someone who needs a “virtual visit.”
Hingham Link plans to reach out to the overall community, including Lincoln School Apartments and Linden Ponds residents, the Department of Elder Services, and veterans.
In the meantime, large groups of residents who would like to be included in this effort-- as either a volunteer or a recipient of services--are encouraged to email a list containing their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and what kind of help they need or can offer, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, to sign up as a volunteer, or to receive a phone call or assistance, visit hinghamlink.com.