MARYVILLE, Mo. — She didn’t expect thousands of people to join her Local Needs during Quarantine Facebook page overnight, but Adriann Chiles was pleasantly surprised to see her page filling a need within the Maryville community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chiles, who works at Hy-Vee in Maryville, told The Forum by phone that she was sitting on her couch Sunday, March 22, when she decided to help people find the items they haven’t been able to find shopping.
Sparking the idea, the Facebook page creator said was a young mother who came through Chiles’ line while at work in search of formula for her child using her state WIC vouchers.
The mom had the vouchers, but not money to purchase any formula she found online. Chiles went online and ordered two cans of formula and had them shipped to her house.
“Is that a bunch? No, but it’s a little bit to help that mom feel secure and know that her baby’s going to be fed,“ Chiles said. “We have the best community in the United States, right here.“
While the Maryville community definitely has needs during this period of social distancing, it also has a lot of people reaching out to help any way they can.
“This is just for people to share what they have,“ Chiles said. “It’s not for profit.“
She explained that people have been very good asking just for cost on some of the items, while others are given freely.
“Nobody’s price-gouging,“ Chiles said.
Chiles explained that the group is for people who can’t go to the store, those who need just one thing, or anyone who “feels like they’re going to break down because their baby doesn’t have diapers. I’m absolutely loving this community’s teamwork.“
From posts searching for formula and diapers, to cereal and help delivering school lunches to children at home, the needs of the community run the gamut. The Facebook group also sees a hefty amount of discussion about safety and mask creation techniques to even the advent of a “teddy bear hunt“ in Maryville.
This “hunt“ involves people placing teddy bears in the front windows of their homes, for others to drive their children around and count. This helps with social distancing, while also keeping them active in the community.
Now, only five days old, the group has around 2,206 members, and Chiles said she’s amazed at her community’s giving nature.
“I sat on the couch the other day completely flabbergasted by how many people are in this group,“ she said. “It’s hard for a lot of us to ask for help or accept help. The time that we live in right now, none of us know what’s going on. ... It’s a different way of thinking.“
Chiles explained one rule for the group is to keep to social distancing policies while getting items to people.
“I think drop-offs on the porch are going well,“ she said. “Everybody’s just helping out. This is the Bible Belt of America here, if somebody’s starving their neighbor’s going to feed them and this is showing it. I sit and I cry happy tears. I think a little bit of positive is what everybody needs right now.“
Find the group on Facebook at facebook.com/groups/264649827869453/.