CHICO, Calif. – Californians throughout the state very well could give themselves pats on the back for the recent support of a new statewide initiative.
Governor Gavin Newsom recently put out the call for volunteers from all backgrounds and skill-sets, to step forward and help during this coronavirus pandemic, with the launch of the website portal, ‘Californians for All.’
State residents have overwhelmingly stepped up.
Action News Now Morning Anchor Julia Yarbough wanted to find out how the platform was doing since launching. Yarbough spoke with the state’s Chief Service Officer, Josh Fryday, about the effort.
He says in the first week, the response went far beyond what had been anticipated.
“It’s really a reflection of the broader spirit of Californians, with so many stepping up to make a difference,” says Fryday. “Just this last week over 32-thousand Californians have signed up.”
Those who do submit their names and information regarding what areas they would like to help in, first receive an email outlining some immediate steps that can be taken during the pandemic to help someone in need; like just calling someone to ask if they need help.
Fryday says as community needs are identified, prospective volunteers will be paired with an agency in their respective areas in order to begin helping.
Yarbough asked Fryday what the primary areas of need are right now. He says the pressing need is volunteers to assist at local food banks, those willing and able to donate blood and individuals making phone calls to check in on their neighbors, especially elders or those who are isolated under stay-at-home orders.
“There’s both short and long term needs and while we want people to be connected now we also realize we're going to have needs for months to come,” explains Fryday. “I think this pandemic has shown that people are willing and wanting to support each other in their communities.”
Based on the response to the Californians for All volunteer effort, Fryday says this initiative will likely continue well beyond when the state overcomes the coronavirus.