In times of crisis, Oklahomans have historically come together to lift one another up. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oklahoma Standard is no different. Our state is already planning how we will respond in times of adversity — and you can help from your home.
Governor Kevin Stitt and the Oklahoma Department of Human Services recently announced the launch of a new volunteer initiative, called Ready. Help. Go., that will connect courageous Oklahomans to volunteer opportunities in their communities, once health professionals determine it is safe and appropriate to do so.
Every Oklahoman has a part to play in Ready. Help. Go. The program’s first phase, Ready, will focus on gathering information about willing volunteers and their skill sets, and is intended to support communities throughout the state through the COVID-19 response and beyond.
Oklahomans who want to volunteer can visit beaneighbor.org and fill out a quick form to tell the program about themselves and how they’d like to help once it’s safe and smart to do so.
Our hope is that all Oklahomans will help from home by filling out the form. For now, we want everyone to adhere to social distancing and other CDC recommendations, but we also want to plan how we’ll be good neighbors to one another in the future.
Once health professionals determine it is safe to mobilize volunteers, Ready. Help. Go. will assess where help is needed most and contact volunteers to let them know about personalized opportunities near them. The end goal is to bring Oklahomans across the state together for the COVID-19 response and provide a hub for volunteers and community helpers moving forward.
The program is seeking all kinds of volunteers, including — but not limited to — healthcare and childcare workers, direct caretakers, first responders and general helpers to make food deliveries and offer support in other areas. If you don’t see your expertise in that list, never fear. There’s space for everyone to help, and you can tell Ready. Help. Go. more about how you’d like to help in the form.
The first phase of the program runs through April 15. During this time, Oklahomans will be able to use the form to tell us how they’d like to help address needs in their communities.
Oklahoma needs you to stay home, stay safe and sign up. For more information about Ready. Help. Go., please visit readyhelpgo.org.
Author:Justin Brown, Secretary of Human Services and Early Childhood Initiatives and Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services