Mound House Friends Deliver

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If you are sick, self-quarantined because you have coronavirus exposure or at high risk, or self-isolating for your own reasons, The Friends of the Mound House Board has offered to deliver goods, items, food and/or medication to you.

“The Friends of The Mound House had a recent Board Meeting,” reported Friends of the Mound House President Ellen Vaughan, “with those brave enough attending in person at my apartment, obeying social distancing, of course, with everyone else by speaker phone. We began investigating ideas of what we can do to help the Fort Myers Beach community, with so many of us confined to our homes and condominiums. Other island volunteer groups, like the Fort Myers Beach Womans Club and FMB Community Foundation, are already staking out their own territories to help, and the Friends wants to contribute as well. In the beach Venn diagram, where there is some overlap and some gaps, our members want to reach out to those caught in the gap of services, and providing groceries, running errands and similar things is our opportunity to contribute.”

The Friends can help you set up a delivery service, most likely through Publix Supermarket. “We are still establishing everything, along with waiting for our first contact from the general public, with Publix seeming like a natural partner. The reason I say that is because, during our Board Meeting conference call, one of our Board members received a Publix delivery! If not, we can get your shopping list over the telephone or via email and, if it is not too extravagant, we can cover the cost upfront and bring your delivery right to your door. We can leave it outside and step back, you can come out, retrieve it, and leave the money, then when you go back inside, we can step up and get the payment. We are still working out the details, as we are in uncharted territory, but with all our technology, I am sure we can find a payment method that will work for everybody.”

Your Real Assistant

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Friends of the Mound House President Ellen Vaughan is pictured here accepting a TDC grant from the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott last November. No TDC funds are being used for the delivery program.

The group envisions their program to be for more than just groceries, however. Ellen explained, “If you need prescriptions or anything else from the pharmacy, or from places like the local hardware stores, we are happy to go there for you as well. Forget about a virtual assistant – we can be your real assistant!”

While the original concept is just for Fort Myers Beach residents, Ellen is open to expanding the service to San Carlos Island. “We did not discuss that at the original meeting, but we have members on San Carlos Island, so it would be easy to expand our outreach there. This is not a fully baked idea right now, and obviously none of us has any experience in disaster planning, so we are flying by the seat of our pants, but we will do our best to help out those who are in situations of need, so I am confident we will find suitable solutions to those who reach out to us. These actions are to not only get you your necessary food and provisions, but to lift your spirits and let you know that in uncharted times like we are now all in, none of us are alone.”

Ellen cites an example of her own. “In our building, a family arrived on vacation a week ago Thursday, right when everything was closing. We have a little spit of beach right outside our building, and even though their kids are a little bit on the older side, I brought them some beach toys from my grandchildren, like buckets and shovels, along with balls to play catch and things like that. Later that day, the Town closed all beaches, so they returned the beach shovels and buckets, but asked nicely if they could keep the balls and other stuff to play with for the remainder of their stay, and of course I let them. One of the kids is about 12-years-old, so I suggested she keep a journal about what she is going through and feeling at such an unusual time in world history, then when she is grown up with a family of her own, she can show it to her own children! It is more important than ever that we turn negatives into positives.”

For assistance from the Friends of the Mound House, email or call Gayle Crabtree Pergoli at crnagayle@msn.com or 651-336-9788; Sue O’Brien at sqobrien8@gmail.com or 508-641-3405; or Ellen at ellenpvaughan@gmail.com or 734-846-6903. “If you would like to volunteer, we are happy to have you,” added Ellen. “We are all in this together, so by sticking together, we can be there for each and every one of us; that is what I pray we will all learn from this!”