Okanagan, Kamloops Good Samaritans offer rides and deliver groceries amid COVID-19 outbreak - InfoNews

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Okanagan, Kamloops Good Samaritans offer rides and deliver groceries amid COVID-19 outbreak

Katrine Simoes, with her two children, picked up Canada Post parcels for a resident in need Sunday, March 15.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Katrine Simoes
March 16, 2020 - 7:00 AM

Whether it's Kelowna or Kamloops doesn't seem to matter — hoarders are making it hard for elderly shoppers to get their needs met and good samaritans in every city are doing their best to help.

Katrine Simoes, a Kamloops teacher, is delivering groceries, packages and offering rides to those who may not be able to deal with the masses during the early morning toilet paper rush.

“I’m just trying to be helpful because I’ve seen what’s happening and it’s really scary, to be honest,” she said. “My wish is that there is a ripple effect because there’s so much negativity.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: These are the event cancellations for the Okanagan and Kamloops

Seeing Vancouver residents profiting off of people’s fears was awful, she said.

“I’m really worried about elderly people not being able to leave their homes or moms or dads not being able to leave their homes because they’re single parents.”

“For myself, I went Costco and in an hour and a half there was no toilet paper,” she said.

She decided to take things into her own hands.

It’s become a whole family effort, she said, with her two children and husband lending a helping hand.

Roughly 20 people have reached out to her asking how they can help, she said, and five have asked for assistance.

“It’s really nice to see people wanting to help others,” she said.

She’s thinking about creating a social media group and is encouraging others to check on their neighbours when supplies are hard to come by.

To connect with Simoes, message her on Facebook.

Tregg Scheider was walking through West Kelowna’s empty Walmart aisles when he noticed two old ladies that gave him an idea.

“It was like walking into a third world country, there was no bread, no meat, no hot dogs and no steaks,” he said.

When he saw the older ladies looking at the empty shelves, he thought of those who may not be able to pick up groceries or are unable to get to the grocery on time before the shelves are emptied, he said.

“I can afford to buy my gas and drive people around and help them out,” he said.

READ MORE: Person infected with COVID-19 flew on WestJet plane from Vancouver to Kelowna

He decided to offer his assistance on Facebook, able to give people rides if they need it. He’s had three requests for assistance and five people offer to help, he said.

And he’s “disgusted” when he sees people selling items like Lysol wipes to make a profit online.

Some of these people may not be able to afford to “race to the store to hoard stuff just in case they can’t get stuff next week,” he said.

“How are they going to be able to get the products they need?” he said.

He hopes that people will help out their neighbours.

To connect with Scheider, message him through Facebook.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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