TRENDS Diary: Nederland Resident Organizes Neighbors to Help Neighbors

Claudia Schauffler is a small business owner and community activist in Nederland.

Dear TRENDS Diary,

I’m a retired healthcare worker and small business owner [The Shop,] in the mountain community of Nederland. I was busy preparing for a festive Frozen Dead Guy Days weekend last March when we went into the shutdown.

A small group of community activists quickly realized that we were facing a very unusual situation and that many of our neighbors were in need of help. We are accustomed to pitching in during fires and floods, but this was even more far-reaching.

I volunteered to reach out via social media and to see what we could do. I asked for volunteers and asked people to let me know what they needed to be able to stay safely at home.

I was overwhelmed by the response. Very soon, I had lists of volunteers and requests for help.

Often, requests for help came from people that could help in other ways that we hadn’t thought of while staying safely at home. We were soon delivering groceries, prescriptions, food bank boxes, and basic needs items to people that were high-risk and were safer staying at home. And high-risk residents who were isolating were making phone calls to other isolated neighbors to provide support and friendship during this challenging time.

Many of our volunteers never even met the people they were helping.

I credit our amazing volunteers for our success in reducing the community spread of COVID-19. We created interpersonal connections that have had a very visible positive impact. We continue to maintain those connections and are confident that, as needs arise, we can do it again.

– Claudia Shauffler, as told to Sabine Kortals Stein

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TRENDS Diary, a project of the Community Foundation of Boulder County, is a place for Boulder County residents of all ages to share personal experiences that relate to a pressing community need. The focus, for now, is on our shared need to connect and solve problems, despite the increased isolation we’re all experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.