MOUNT VERNON — Recovery bags containing information about local COVID-19 recovery efforts are available to Knox County residents. The bags contain gloves, non-medical masks, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and community resources.
The bags are a result of a project driven by Susie Simpson, the Knox County Mobility Manager. The community group supporting the effort includes Knox County Mobility Management, Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Knox County Emergency Management Agency, the Emergency Operations Center, Knox Public Health, and United Way of Knox County Ohio Inc.
March through June, United Way of Knox County partnered with Knox Area Transit and the Mount Vernon Association of Police Chaplains to provide delivery of medications, groceries and homemade masks to seniors, those with chronic medical conditions, or anyone else in the county who felt uncomfortable leaving their home to make essential trips. Simpson served as the central organizer who took phone calls and arranged deliveries. Through an estimated 125 volunteer hours, the program connected nearly 150 callers with the resources they needed. As the program came to a natural end, the group discussed how to equip our community for the next phase: Recovery.
The group discussed providing the proper equipment to community members so when they re-enter the community, they are increasing personal safety and decreasing the spread of COVID-19. By providing recovery bags with resources and personal protective equipment for free, barriers to access such supplies are eliminated. Simpson says it simply, “I want people to have what they need to feel safe to go back out into the community.”
The project is supported by federal grant funding from the CARES Act. Mobility Management obtained this grant through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT).
Recovery bags will be assembled and then delivered to local social service and nonprofit agencies. Community members are able to pick them up starting Monday, June 22. Those interested in receiving a recovery bag can contact Knox County Mobility Manager Susie Simpson at 740-485-5002 or visit Knox Public Health’s website (knoxhealth.com) for a list of sites where bags are available.