Neighbor Helping Neighbor packets are posted on the doors of each senior center. Community members are welcome to take one for themselves and a friend or neighbor. Seniors are advised not to open the door or give money to anyone they don’t know. Courtesy/LARSO
Red or Green may not be a question you think about asking during a pandemic, but two local programs, would like you to think about the question, in a very different way.
The County’s Office of Emergency Management and the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization are collaborating to provide resources to Los Alamos and White Rock resident. The County’s “Neighbor Helping Neighbor Resource Guide,” is full of a variety of information, during times of need, in our community.
“Being a good neighbor is important, and communities are rallying around to support each other,” County Emergency Manager Beverley Simpson said. “If you are in need of assistance, please place a red item in your window (post it, scarf, etc).” Simpson highlights the importance of education, as Covid-19 continues to spread, in the state. Fraudsters/scammers are likely to continue using the anxiety it generates, to trick people out of their personal data and hard-earned money. It is advised that no one provide any personal information (credit card, bank account, social security number, etc.) to anyone you do not know. Only open your door to known neighbors, friends and family members.”
Senior Centers Director Bernadette Lauritzen said that the local senior centers are distributing large green and red post-it notes, provided by the County, so people have something on hand. Green indicates a good day, red brings to light an issue. The need might be simple, like an errand or handy man request, but could be something significant, too.
“The card could be placed in a window anytime a need arises, in hopes that a neighbor will check on them,” Lauritzen said.
The local senior centers have a host of programs available for members, age 60 and up, and the membership is free. While drive-thru lunch or Home Delivered Meal options are available, as we enter this new phase, more seniors may be afraid to go to the grocery store. The senior centers would like to take additional exposure to any possibilities off the hearts of their seniors. Senior center staff are more than willing to walk longer distances in parking lots or stand in lines for longer periods of time.
Lauritzen, the 40 Developmental Assets coordinator for many years, reflects back to the same lessons.
“This time in our lives is very indicative of the philosophy of Fred Rogers’ from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Take some time to be out front, walk down your block and say hello (maintain the 6 foot distance). Ask someone if they need anything, in case you are the one who needs to put the red item in your window someday.”
Simpson also reminds all residents, “Please look after and support each other, and report anything suspicious to the police.” The resource Guide and the red and green cards are available on the doors of either senior center, which will be replenished daily. Questions about the project can be directed to 505.662.8920.