Local Realtors are stepping up to help deliver supplies for those who are self-quarantining because of coronavirus.
Mary Mingo, who lives in Sahuarita, moved to the area from Maine 16 years ago and sells homes in Green Valley and Sahuarita. She is also a co-founder of a Facebook group that seeks to assist in getting supplies to people in self-quarantine or who are isolating themselves.
The group began this week with the intention of helping seniors who needed supplies while staying home, but Mingo said it has expanded to anyone who needs assistance.
"It started when some of us were just chatting about the disasters in the grocery stores," she said. "A lot of us work with older people or even young people who have multiple children and are trying to navigate through the shortages at the grocery store and are trying to do the right thing by self-quarantining."
The Facebook group, "Realtors & friends helping seniors during Coronavirus," has more than 900 members since it wa launched Sunday by Tucson Realtor Tim Rehrmann.
Mingo said there are about 30 members in Sahuarita and Green Valley ready to serve both areas as well as Amado and Arivaca. She said they even have a member in Oro Valley who is willing to deliver to anyone within a two-hour radius.
They've yet to assist anybody in this area and Mingo thinks that could be because seniors don't frequent or use Facebook, which is the only way to connect with the group. They have aided people in Tucson.
"We're looking for ways to get the word out because we know that a lot of the people we're trying to find who need help aren't on Facebook, they're not looking online," she said.
Mingo had considered putting up flyers around Green Valley Recreation centers, but the organization closed its doors March 14 through at least April 1.
Mingo said Realtors founded the group because they undergo regular background checks and are typically in people's homes, which lends them more trust than an average stranger.
Sticking to Realtors for deliveries is one way to help prevent any scammers from taking advantage of the situation, she said.
For Realtors who are assisting in the group, Mingo said there are a couple of rules they are required to follow – no self-promotion and no charging for assistance.
And when it does come time to start delivering supplies to people in Sahuarita, Green Valley and surrounding areas, Mingo said they would likely leave packages on the porch to prevent exposing them.
Mingo said they are going to help people with supplies on an as-needed basis and according to availability.
"We're not adding to the problem by hoarding things and stockpiling for people who are going to come onto this page," Mingo said. "We're not like a secret supply of toilet paper or anything like that, but we can certainly band together and come up with some non-perishable food to bring to people or go pick up a prescription or whatever else they may need help with."
Although the group is sticking to Realtors for deliveries, Mingo said other people are welcome to join the group who could help pool resources and supplies that would eventually go out to the community.
For now, Mingo is trying to spread the message by word of mouth, asking neighbors to help by letting people, especially seniors, know about the Facebook group option.
"It's no questions asked," she said. "If somebody needs help, we have people lined up to deliver in all different areas."