County Emergency Management And LARSO Collaborate On Providing Resources During COVID-19

GORNeighbor Helping Neighbor packets are posted on the doors of Betty Ehart Senior Center and the White Rock Senior Center. Community members are welcome to take one for themselves and a friend or neighbor. Seniors are advised not to open their doors or give money to anyone they don’t know. Courtesy photo


Red or Green may not be a question you think about asking during a pandemic, but two local programs would like you to think about the question in a very different way.

The Los Alamos County Office of Emergency Management and the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization are collaborating to provide resources to Los Alamos and White Rock residents. The County’s “Neighbor Helping Neighbor Resource Guide” has a variety of information for times of need in our community.

Being a good neighbor is important, and communities are rallying around to support each other,” said County Emergency Manager, Beverley Simpson. “If you are in need of assistance please place a red item in your window (post it, scarf, etc).”

Simpson highlights the importance of education as Covid-19 continues to spread in the state. Fraudsters/scammers are likely to continue using the anxiety it generates to trick people out of their personal data and hard-earned money. Do not provide any personal information (credit card, bank account, social security number, etc.) to anyone you do not know. Only open your door to known neighbors, friends and family members.  

 “The local senior centers are distributing large green and red Post-It notes provided by the County so people have something on hand,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, director of the local senior centers. “Green indicates a good day, red brings to light an issue.

The need might be simple, like an errand or handyman request, but could be something significant too. The card could be placed in a window anytime a need arises, in hopes that a neighbor will check on them, Lauritzen said.

 Local senior centers have a host of programs available for members age 60 and up and the membership is free. While drive-through lunch or Home Delivered Meal options are available, as we enter this new phase, more seniors may be afraid to go to the grocery store. The senior centers would like to take additional exposure to any possibilities off the hearts of their seniors. Senior center staff are more than willing to walk longer distances in parking lots or stand in lines for longer periods of time.

 Lauritzen, the 40 Developmental Assets Coordinator for many years, reflects back to the same lessons.

“This time in our lives is very indicative of the philosophy of Fred Rogers’ from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Take some time to be out front, walk down your block and say hello (maintain the 6 -feet distance). Ask someone if they need anything in case you are the one that needs to put the red item in your window someday.”

Simpson also reminds all residents, “Please look after and support each other, and report anything suspicious to the police.” The resource guide and the red and green cards are available on the doors of either senior center, which will be replenished daily. Questions about the project can be directed to (505) 662-8920.