In March the City of Bristol established a hotline, the All Heart Hotline, to provide Bristol residents in need of social services or other support during the Coronavirus public health emergency. The hotline was for residents who were confined to their home, who were disabled or elderly and at risk if they went to the grocery store, or for people with transportation issues, families who couldn’t reach the School Food Distribution Sites, and other situations. A volunteer, who was screened by the Mayor’s Office, was matched with those in need of assistance.
The hotline was also for those who wanted to be volunteers, they would call the hotline to add their name to the list so that they could be matched to those in need. In May, David Dube, a Bristol resident, was looking for a way to give back to the community and called the All Heart Hotline to put his name on the list. When his dad passed away in March his job at the Veterans Affairs office in Waterbury wasn’t enough to fill the void of helping his dad and others which he enjoyed. David was matched to Ronald Helming who no longer drives and was unable to get out to grocery shop on his own. David met Mr. Helming at his home to be introduced to him and then began taking him grocery shopping once a week. Along with grocery shopping the two now do other errands together and frequently stop to pick up Subway grinders – Mr. Helming likes the spicy Italian – which they then enjoy together at Mr. Helming’s home.
“I like helping others and am happy that I was matched with Mr. Helming,” stated David. “I look forward to continuing to grow our friendship as I help him with whatever he may need.”
As the months progressed, a friendship developed between the two gentleman and today David continues to take Mr. Helming grocery shopping and checks in on him often, especially during hot weather.
“I am grateful to have someone to take me grocery shopping,” stated Mr. Helming “David is more than a helper, he’s a good friend.”