HOPE Reflects on Covid-19 Pandemic

LYNDON - The Covid-19 pandemic has had a great impact on life and how we navigate todays world.

HOPE has been serving the NEK for years and when the pandemic arrived in Vermont, it forced them to change their daily operations.

Their store closed for 3 months, donations moved to online or mail, and new services were provided. One of these services was a sponsorship program which allowed other businesses who donated to HOPE to be recognized for their donation. HOPE Operations Manager, Jaime Brown says it made them more noticeable throughout the NEK. 

"Once you see a business giving, that might make other businesses more inclined to donate." 

Other services included the backpack program and helping out with the Everybody Eats program which provided meals to those in need. Brown says that even before the pandemic, HOPE was looking at ways they could improve services. In a way, she says, "It was pretty ironic."

"We were back to really helping in various ways be it food necessities, personal care items, cleaning supplies, just a whole host of different services that we were providing. It was needed and it was necessary, we did what our community needed for us to do," Brown said.

Now, with Covid cases decreasing, HOPE has opened up their store and is taking in person donations, as well as continuing to partner with other businesses in the Kingdom.

"I think it's kind of going back to where we were in 2019 with figuring out what the need is in our community now and how we can still assist them based on the needs," store manager, Haley Caplan said.