Jewish Family Service of Saint Paul has created a Friendly Remote Visitor program to combat the isolation and loneliness of the COVID-19 directive that encourages people to stay at home when possible. Trained volunteers are available to check in with individuals by phone, chat a bit and reassure them that someone cares. Contact Margie Solomon at 651-690-8907 or

Masks for BLM, a fundraiser to sell homemade, nonmedical facemasks to benefit the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, has been started by University of Minnesota graduate Anna Miller. The foundation was organized by Valerie Castile to preserve the legacy of her son, a Central High School graduate and J.J. Hill Elementary School employee who was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights in 2016. For information, visit

A Mask for Everyone initiative has been launched by Ramsey County to ensure that people have access to cloth facemasks to slow the spread of COVID-19. The program will prioritize distributing homemade cloth masks to racially, ethnically and culturally diverse communities. Masks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. For information on getting a mask and locations for dropping off new, unused masks for the initiative, visit

The Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities has adjusted its 63rd annual Thanksgiving meals distribution in light of COVID-19. This year, online donations are being requested to purchase food in bulk, rather than holding food collection drives. It also is moving to registration either online or by phone, instead of in person. Distribution will be via a drive-through method on Saturday, November 21. The requests for meals are expected to increase this year. Typically, contributors and volunteers combine their efforts each year to feed tens of thousands of people. Only one bag of groceries is available per household, which includes a turkey and enough trimmings to feed a family of five. Register from October 24-November 7 by visiting or calling 651-222-4949.


Carolyn Mowry, who celebrated her 100th birthday on August 28, has been eager to return to volunteering at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis. She has been unable to donate her time supporting chaplain services, a role she has played since 2005, because of coronavirus restrictions. Mowry served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1942-45, moved to Minneapolis with her husband in 1962, and became a dual Canadian/American citizen in 1997. While an in-person birthday party was not possible, the home celebrated her milestone birthday with a shower of cards and well wishes from residents, staff and other volunteers. Birthday cards may still be sent to her at: Cards for Carolyn, c/o Minnesota Veterans Home-Minneapolis, 5101 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55417.

Ramsey County has selected five partners to provide healthy meals free of charge to qualifying residents who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus and are challenged to remain in their homes. The partners are Senior Services Consortium of Ramsey County (651-266-4107), Open Arms of Minnesota (612-767-7333), Karing Neighbor (651-321-8697), Fairview Health Services (651-815-3389) and Afro Deli & Grill (651-621-0914). Applicants may review the food options, which include medically tailored, vegetarian, culturally specific and Halal-only meals, at or by calling the providers directly. Each partner will screen applicants directly based on county-established criteria.


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