Carlen and Kirk Bailey, who own Brian’s Eggairy, hang coats on racks on the outside of the shop Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Port Huron. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Carlen Bailey said she wasn’t sure if she should do the collection this year, but decided people need warm clothing regardless. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
But Carlen Bailey, who owns the convenience store at 1635 Pine Grove Ave. in Port Huron with her husband, Kirk Bailey, was kind of concerned about doing it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rack still went up, though. Carlen Bailey said it is outside and no one has to interact to donate or pick up the items.
“People are still in need, whether or not there’s a pandemic …,” she said.
The holiday season is approaching, a time when people generally want to help others, want to donate their time to soup kitchens, donate their clothing and toys to good causes and help people as the weather gets colder.
Carlen Bailey, who owns Brian’s Eggairy with her husband Kirk Bailey, hangs coats on racks on the outside of the shop Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Port Huron. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Carlen Bailey said she wasn’t sure if she should do the collection this year, but decided people need warm clothing regardless. (Photo: Brian Wells/Times Herald)
This year, however, there is a pandemic to think about, with cases rapidly rising in Michigan and the St. Clair County Health Department issuing a public health alert.
There are ways to donate time and items safely, and the health department has suggestions for how to do it.
Jennifer Michaluk, the department’s spokeswoman and director of health education and planning, said organizations should set up virtual events or donate virtually versus in person and drive-thru events are a preferred method instead of having people standing in lines or congregating together.
“With cases being at extremely high levels, people should avoid being in crowds,” she said in an email.
If donating clothing or toys, people should make sure items are clean and sanitized or purchase new items to donate. People can call the facility where they want to donate and ask what items are needed or if they prefer monetary donations that could be mailed in or done online, Michaluk said.
When it comes to volunteering, event organizers should make sure any volunteers are screened appropriately with precautions like temperature checks and screening questions.
Hand washing stations and/or hand sanitizer stations are recommended for volunteers. Volunteers should all be masked and physical distancing of 6 feet or more should always be in place. Volunteers, event organizers and participants should stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms or feeling sick
“Do not volunteer if you have been told to quarantine (even if you have no symptoms) or are waiting on your COVID test results,” Michaluk said.
Carlen Bailey said the eggairy’s rack will be up until February or March, weather permitting. Around 15 to 20 items have been donated and the store was already down to four or five items left.
People are going through their closets, looking for stuff to donate and it should be another productive year.
“It’s really all about the community helping the community,” she said.
For more information, people can call the county’s informational hotline line at (810) 966-4163, or email [email protected]
Contact Bryce Airgood at (810) 989-6202 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.
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