We all are experiencing a pandemic situation due to COVID-19 across the country and worldwide. Although there is currently no vaccine to prevent the disease, social distancing is one of the best practices to protect yourself and prevent spreading to others along with guidelines published by the CDC and WHO. During these difficult times, there are many individuals all over North America and abroad who may need assistance.
BMM has set up a Toll-Free helpline for anyone who needs assistance to get connected to the Marathi Mandal/ community organizations to find local help. BMM is also connecting with Government Agencies, other social organizations that might be in the best place to resolve any specific issues related to this COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Although we cannot guarantee about resolving every issue, we will try our best to help as much we can with the support of all the local Mandals, Govt agencies. During our conference call lot of Marathi Mandal organizations had come forward to support the initiative, and they are already working in the local community to help people in need, especially senior citizens. We appreciate all Mandal organizations taking it forward as they are the best resources at the local level.
Also, we are asking the Mandal Organizations volunteers not to put themselves or their families in any risk while trying to help because of the nature of this contagious virus. So please be careful and take all the necessary measures/precautions while helping others. Safety first at all the time. BMM is not liable for any consequences of volunteer work.
Why BMM needed to create a helpline?
BMM, a 40-year-old organization, is very well connected across North America(an umbrella organization for about 60 Mandal organizations), Europe, Australia, India, with its Marathi community. We intend to bank on these connections to help our folks who require help—a stronger community with better connection hence the Helpline. Let’s all come together to help the community.
How can Mandal Organizations set up the connection with BMM?
The Mandal Organization will appoint one person from their organization for this COVID 19 help and provide his/her contact info to BMM. (he/she could be an officer or a BMM Rep or any local member volunteer) . BMM will only contact this person related to the COVID-19 issues. Also, as we move forward and experience what common help that is required is, how they are resolved, we will create a Resource Information Help Bank at one centralized place.
How will this Helpline work?
The person in need dials the Helpline or e-mail with the help requested. Depending on the request type, whether its geographically constrained request or just requiring information or related to any Government Agency related question, BMM will direct it to the appropriate resources and will follow up with the person to see the issue is resolved. All BMM EC’s are connected with the Helpline, and they will appropriately guide the person to the best resources available at that time.
What are some examples of help we can cater to?
- Management Services to Senior Citizens- such as groceries, medical help required in a particular area.
- Any Consulate Advice or Information – we will try to get that information from government agencies and request them to help
- Student Help – Visa Information, Accommodations (BMM or Local Mandal cannot provide this directly but will try to direct the appropriate pool of volunteers who would like to help.)
- Connecting group of people who need to talk and calm their anxiety
What are some examples that are ours beyond scope?
- Medical – If you are COVID-19 positive, or feel like you have the symptoms, please call the local medical authorities or CDC.
- Financial Help – If you are having financial hardship, we might be able to guide to the organizations who are providing financial help. Also, federal and state governments are working to provide financial aid.
- Fund Raising – We believe there are big organizations that are better placed than us to do fundraise and appropriately fund it to those in need.
Is the Helpline available 24/7?
Technically yes, but as you understand, if it is midnight, none of the EC’s would be able to receive the call, but we will be able to hear the voicemail and get back to the person in need. E-mail is the best option during the night hours. Folks from other countries(other than USA & Canada) can also reach out to this number (your local phone fee charges may be applied depending on which country you are calling.)
Since this whole situation is new/volatile/fluid, we will monitor and keep you all updated, adapt, and change the course as required. We cannot thank you enough for all the Mandal Organization for their readiness to help in this pandemic situation.
The following are a few useful links:
Grocery Home Delivery