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Lincoln County provides pandemic hotline

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 21:08:04-04

SHOSHONE — Lincoln County has come up with a new initiative to serve its residents. The county offers a pandemic hotline to help people who are at risk or don't feel comfortable going into populated areas. The hotline will allow people to call who may need supplies or items such as groceries and will be delivered to your door.

Lincoln County commissioner, Rebecca Wood stated, "They could call in and they could have us pick up groceries for them or deliver things if they're afraid to go outside, we can send masks to their house. Or we can even just check in on people who might not have been seen for a while and that people are worried about."

The hotline was the idea of a resident, Karma Fitzgerald, who also assisted in the effort to donate masks to North Canyon Medical Center. The purpose of the hotline was initially the thought to distribute face-masks. It soon expanded into delivering supplies that people needed. The hotline has been in service since April and has recently gained a lot of traction.

It has received multiple calls a day, with some even coming from out of Lincoln County. Requests have come in from places like Jerome, Nampa, and even Boise. Typically, the further away a location is from Lincoln, they are asking for just face-masks and some other essential supplies. Since the demand is growing, the hotline requested and received a grant from the Idaho Stem Action Center to assist with making deliveries outside of Lincoln.

Karma Fitzgerald stated, "So now we have some money that's available so when I have to send masks out of the county, or I need to get sewing supplies to somebody out of the county those costs can all be offset by that grant."

Due to multiple volunteers and organizations helping with deliveries and donations, the local sheriff's department felt they too could get involved. Sheriff Rene King decided to donate a burner phone to Karma so she could answer all of the requests without using her home phone.

Keith Davis, a local medical director at Shoshone Family Medical Center and his staff, felt this was a great cause and chance to participate in something significant. Davis also takes part in the Lincoln Community Health Center nonprofit organization, which has been working with the hotline to decide where donations should be allocated.

Contributions can be distributed to those who fall under the nonprofit and volunteers, which covers a vast range of possibilities. The money can assist those outside the county lines, different kinds of services or supplies that are needed, and even to frontline workers.

The hotline plans to continue operating until their services or no longer needed. To reach the resource hotline, call 208-727-7236. Donations can also be given to the Shoshone Family Medical Center or mailed to 113 S. Apple Street in Shoshone.