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Brooklyn helpers to the rescue during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted at 11:18 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 23:20:53-04

SOUTH BROOKLYN — In Brooklyn, where so many people are self-isolating and practicing social distancing, there is a movement afoot to reach out to try to help their most vulnerable neighbors anyway they can.

“This is a supportive community,” said Lily Pollak. “I am sure a lot of people are feeling alone, but they are not alone,” she added.

Pollak is a preschool teacher who is five months pregnant with time on her hands and a big heart, so she decided to create a website, COVID19Brooklynhelpers.com, to try to match all the kind people in South Brooklyn who want to run errands for seniors and others at risk from the new coronavirus.

“This is going to go on for a couple of months and friends and family may not always be there to help,” Pollak added.

One of the more than 180 volunteers who is already signed up is pastry chef Monica Stolbach. The Carroll Gardens mom spent the afternoon baking oatmeal coconut chocolate chip cookies with her three-year-old daughter to distribute to anyone in need.

She is also so grateful to the GoFundMe campaign to help all those temporarily laid off in her restaurant group that she has even more reason to give back.

“It always makes me feel better to bake for other people,” Stolbach said. “Being able to share what I can do and try to brighten someone’s day with that,” she added.

The only problem so far with covid19brooklynhpers.com is they need more seniors and those with compromised health to sign up for the free services. That’s where Park Slope City Councilmember Brad Lander comes to find those in need.

“People want to help, but building out the structures that enable us to help in this time of social distancing is what my office is working on now,” Lander told PIX11 News.

And if you are looking for volunteer opportunities in your community, you can check out a larger organization called Invisible Hands.