Joseph Harold has lived in Sterling Heights for 20 year and, as a senior citizen, is part of vulnerable demographic during the COVID-19 pandemic. His daughter works as a doctor and he said he and his grandchildren have to be careful when they meet up, wearing masks and taking precautions, and he's grateful they are all currently healthy.
"We are blessed," he said.
Harold is a recipient of one of 500 care packages recently delivered to local senior citizens by Macomb County’s Office of Senior Services. The packages, which were delivered to home-bound Meals on Wheels participants, contained health and cleaning items.
"It's useful," Harold said. "Sometimes when you run short, it's beneficial to have the items in the package."
Sheila Coté, director of the county's Office of Senior Services, said the care packages were arranged after her team spotted a need in the community.
“At the onset of the pandemic, we were making outreach phone calls to seniors to check in,” said Coté.
“Many seniors indicated they were in need of essential care items such as soap, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, paper towel, tissue, etc."
Several departments within Macomb County assisted in package development and distribution, including Planning and Economic Development, Veterans Services, the Office of the County Executive and Human Resources and Labor Relations.
“The county jumped in to help,” Coté said. “This was truly a team effort that included many dedicated employees.”
Federal CARES Act funding is being used to cover the cost of the products in the care packages. The county's senior services office plans to distribute supplies to 1,500 additional home-bound Meals on Wheels participants over the next few months.