Yellow Springs police department social worker Florence Randolph and Yellow Springs Police Chief Brian Carlson have found people to participate ranging from 8-years-old to 94-years-old.
“This (pandemic) is affecting everyone in many different ways,” Carlson said. “This is something new, but we really think it’s a great way to reach out to people, especially at this point in time, just with the pandemic. You know the oddities of everything right now.”
Story Chain is looking to read for people of all backgrounds, Platt said.
It takes between two and three weeks to get a story recorded. Every reader will be assisted by eight volunteers, Platt said. Each coaching session takes about 45 minutes, he said. Platt said the group has eight coaching calls next week.
A child listens to an audio recording of their parent reading them a story. Greene County nonprofit Story Chain started off helping incarcerated people reach out to their loved ones. The pandemic has shifted their mission to help those isolated by COVID. CONTRIBUTED
Then, after a reader is coached on how to read their loved one’s favorite book, collection of poems or a comic book, an audio file is made and sent to their loved one or friend.
“Anything that we can do to stay connected, to continue our efforts with our citizens in the relationship, that’s what the department is trying to do,” Carlson said. “This will help (the police department) because these are people that we know, who are maybe in need, maybe there’s emotional health issues, maybe it’s just a senior who’s lonely. And anything that we are able to do to be able to help our community, and visitors here, but mainly our community because we’re here and so are they. We have open arms.”
Randolph said she has reached out to the school system, the senior center and the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program to see if they know anyone who might benefit from the Stuck in Place program. Platt said he has also reached out to churches in communities all over the region to let them know about the program, too.
“I think this service to our community, just being seen as being human and being a part of the community is important,” Randolph said. “Greatness is determined by service. We are a service to this community.”
Carlson said this program adds “another tool in the tool belt” to help the police department connect with the community.
“It’s not just the desperate population... It’s not just all the things that bring police to people,” Carlson said. “It goes beyond that. It is the widower who has been living alone for four years, or people who start to have dementia and their loved ones live across the country. It brings a really broad group to this network, and that’s where I saw the advantages being part of it.”
Story Chain is still looking for volunteers. To contact the nonprofit, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a volunteer form online.
Yellow Springs Police Chief Brian Carlson is taking part in the Story Chain initiative.