'Community Cares in 308' group steps up to help others during coronavirus emergency

As businesses, organizations and schools shut down or offer altered services following the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus the Oswego School District 308 community is pulling together to help out those in need.

Kendall County Board member Robyn Vickers started the Facebook group Community Cares in 308 to connect those who can offer help with those that need help as a result of the emergency.

As a county board member, Vickers sits on the county's mental health board. As she sat through meetings where groups came in and requested funding, Vickers said that she was inspired to start an organization or group to find and organize resources and connect them with those in need.

"This is kind of the same thing, it's just focuses on individuals rather than groups, but it really is something that I care deeply about, that there's a lot of people that can help and just don't know how to," she said. "This is making it easier for them to do it."

A diverse range of services can be found in the group, including teachers helping students with homework, activity and project suggestions to families self-quarantining, and community members soliciting certain groceries or assistance.

"Even when there's negativity from campaigning and school issues, I still believe it's a great place, and I knew that there would be families that needed things during this crazy time so I really just wanted to find a way to connect all of us that have the means to help with people that might need help," Vickers said.

"It can be anyone with a need on any given day," she said.

Volunteers have picked up meals provided by the school district to give to families with sick members, and have also delivered toilet paper to an individual unable to leave their home, Vickers added.

"I know there's a lot of goodness in this community, and I really just want to focus on that," she added.

Though the group features the Oswego school district's number in its title, Vickers clarified that it not run by the district and is open to any and all community members.

"It (the group) exploded way faster than I anticipated," she said. As the group has already expanded beyond the reach of the district, Vickers may change the name to reflect the reach of the group.

Vickers said that she is also hoping to create a website to funnel and organize requests, instead of the current system which operates through email or Facebook.

"It's kind of morphed into way more than I thought it would," she said. "Right now, it's trying to get a handle on what the needs are.

"People are kind of taking comfort in there's a place to go to ask a question where there's no judgment, first of all...we're not allowing any negativity because there's enough of that everywhere else on social media."

Those who do not have a Facebook account can reach out to Vickers and the organization by emailing communitycaresin308@gmail.com.