Modesto group wants to be ‘Uber of community engagement’

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MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — An organization in Modesto is striving to become what they call the “Uber of community engagement,” pairing people who are able to volunteer with families in need.

“We’re just trying to inspire as many people as we can,” Love Our Cities Executive Director Jeff Pishney said. “Not just look out for their own family but look out for the family next door.”

Pishney said it is all part of a countywide effort that his organization is running, helping families who aren’t able to buy or even pick up the food they may need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Become that Uber of community involvement and community volunteerism. Helping the people who have the need and getting the people who want to help the need, get them connected,” Pishney said. 

Pishney and his team set up a website about a week ago where volunteers can sign up to give help, and seniors and families in need register to get help.

He said, so far, 300 families have asked for help and about 350 have stepped up to meet that need.

“Not just with groceries but with a smile and with interaction,” Pishney said. “So many people are so lonely right now.”

Pishney said it’s important to set an example, to show neighbors that there is someone who is willing to help from at least 6 feet away.

“People in this community care about you and we want to make sure you’re taken care of. And you get that smile back and say thank you,” Pishney said. “It makes it all worth it.”

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