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'We're here for you': Neighbors are helping neighbors on northeast side during COVID-19 crisis

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Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 14:33:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Stores are packed with people scrambling to get their hands on what they need as COVID-19 restrictions keep rolling in.

That's where Jeff Kaplan comes in. Kaplan lives in Ivy Hills, a community on the northeast side, and instead of just working from home during this time, he started an initiative to bring his entire neighborhood together.

"We're here for you," Kaplan said. "People have volunteered to help with schooling. Help with babysitting. Help make doctors trips. Whatever they can do, they are offering to help."

It took one Facebook post, and after that, the idea took off.

"I made a grocery run for someone today. I came up with the name 'Help in the Hood.' Just helping each other. People who are afraid to ask for help, we're here for you," Kaplan said.

And neighbors are coming on board by the second. Peggy Davis followed a friend and decided to get involved. On Friday, she found herself already at work and lending a hand helping people with their groceries.

"I thought the America I loved and grew up in was dead, but it's not," she said. I did a fist bump with an elderly couple on their way out. I am positive it's their first one."

Dozens have already signed up and his phone just keeps dinging with notifications from people ready to grab a shopping cart and do their part for a neighbor in need.

"This morning when I woke up, I had 14 more people," Kaplan said.

Next, Kaplan plans to knock on doors just to make sure he isn't missing anyone who might need help. He said as long as the coronavirus poses a threat, he plans to keep bringing comfort to his community.

As for Davis, as worries spread about the virus, she said she will keep a lending hand to neighbors in need.

"This neighborhood has 670 homes," she said. "There are a lot of elderly people who have been here since the 50s and 60s when this neighborhood was built. I can't ignore a need that's right in front of me."