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Community members offer babysitting, shopping services amid COVID-19 closures

Neighborhood Facebook pages are full of posts offering help.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — Volunteers are offering babysitting and shopping services to those who may need assistance as the novel coronavirus spreads in West Michigan. 

After Gov. Whitmer announced all Michigan schools would close through April 6, many parents began looking for last-minute childcare solutions.

Community members in Ottawa County quickly flooded Facebook groups with posts offering babysitting and daycare assistance for struggling parents. 

"There are a lot of low-income families, they're not going to have anyone to watch their kids," said Charisse Timmreck, a Muskegon Community College Student. 

After Timmreck's classes were moved online, she posted in the Grand Haven Informed Facebook group to offer childcare service. 

 "Everything's moving so fast, and I think anything that can help them is really good," she said. 

Credit: WZZM
One of the many posts in community informed groups asking to assist people during the viral outbreak.

Other posts offered to assist older and immunodeficient people with grocery shopping and other errands. 

Hand2Hand, which provides food to hungry students at over 200 West Michigan schools, has raised more than $2,000 to continue serving kids while schools are closed. Kids Food Basket will also continue providing meals to Ottawa County students. 

"It feels really good to help people and to see how many people are stepping up: Timmreck said. "I feel like we see a lot of that here." 

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