Neighbors are jumping into action to help neighbors

Let us know if you’re doing things to help.
3 min. read
David Millis and Robbie Hobein outside their Curtis Park home (left) and Maggie Thompson with the mutual aid box in front of her Clayton home. March 17, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

We found two hyper-local aid efforts in Denver today.

The first is a box Maggie Thompson set up in front of her home, near the intersection of 36th Avenue and Clayton Street, that she and others have stocked up with supplies for people who might need some extra food or home goods during this period of social isolation.

Thompson works for Denver City Council and said her profession and this helpful venture both stem from a love for civic duty. While she's happy to help, she wishes there wasn't such a need for it.

"We live in a country where there's not much of a safety net, and we're now scrambling to create the best one that we can," she said. "It's a bummer that we don't have the underlying infrastructure for that safety net to begin with."

She's bringing this mentality into all parts of her life. The woman who she usually pays to clean her house, a mother of several children, has had to stay home. Thompson said she's cleaning her home herself, but decided to keep paying the woman while getting out is still difficult.

Maggie Thompson's take some, leave some mutual aid box at her home in Clayton. March 17, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Further west, David Millis and Robbie Hobein are setting up a network of neighbors ready to lend a hand from their Curtis Park home. They've used the process skills from their tech jobs to meld Slack, Google and more into a fast-paced system for deploying assistance.

Five Pointers who can't leave home are invited to call into their hotline (970-316-4036) or fill out a Google form and request help with groceries or whatever else they need.

Millis said they have just shy of 20 volunteers so far, and they're working on getting the word out to more people.

"None of us have really had to deal with something like this," he said. "What we're seeing so far is lot of people finding us, going, 'Ooh, I'd like to help,' which is pretty cool."

Both Millis and Thompson said they haven't seen great need out there yet, but they both are preparing for their services to become more necessary as businesses remain closed and people are stuck indoors.

"I think the next few weeks will be tricky," Thompson said.

Are you doing anything in particular to help your community? Have you seen cool efforts? Let us know at [email protected].

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