LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A program to match Kentucky volunteers with high-risk neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic is taking off

Just over a week ago, Erin Hinson had the idea to create the Louisville COVID-19 Match Program. It connects healthy volunteers with a nearby neighbor who is at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19. 

“As much as I want to help my neighbors and go door to door to make sure that during this time of social distancing that we are on to make sure they are loved and fed and cared for, I have two pre-existing conditions that lump me in the high-risk category. I have had a chronic lung disease since I was four and I am a type 1 diabetic, so it is a no go for me, but this is a way I can help. I can match neighbors to neighbors and hopefully make a connection that will last beyond COVID-19,” Hinson said.

Now, Hinson has facilitated around 100 matches. Volunteer Taylor Torski was recently matched with a couple who lives just five minutes from her house. She now calls to check in on them every morning.

“He said they have not left their house in two weeks. He said they are good on supplies, but they are too scared to go shopping and be in the public. To have that person on the outside who is able to take on that responsibility for them just provides them a sense of security, and I am happy to do it,” Torski said.

When they do need groceries, medications or anything else in the future, she will be able to grab it for them. One volunteer just recently left a care package for a 90-year-old neighbor that had toilet paper, non-perishable food, hand sanitizer and a picture of her family. Gestures like that help people feel like they are not alone.

“Regardless of what you are going through, there are people who care about you, complete strangers who care about your health and wellbeing who want you to be around for a long time,” Hinson said.

You can sign up to volunteer or receive help by either going to the website or calling 502-791-7930.