PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth and Scioto County will come together Saturday, April 11, for the ‘Pack the Lots’ initiative organized by local resident and CXO of Alternative Living Solutions, Scottie Powell.
After seeing viral videos of community members across the country gathering to show support for those workers in the health care industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell and other members of the Dry Run Church of Christ began organizing a way to show their support while adhering to the federal social distancing guidelines and the Ohio stay-at-home order which is currently in place until May 1.
Powell and the ‘Pack The Lots’ initiative are asking those interested in showing their support for local healthcare workers to drive to your hospital or nursing home, stay in your car to follow social distancing recommendations, and turn on your hazard lights as a signal to those inside that you’re praying for them.
“Everyone in our group is someone who works in healthcare or knows someone who works in that field, so we’re trying to be very mindful of all the social distancing guidelines,” Powell said.
98.3 WPAY will be broadcasting Saturday’s event beginning at 7:30 p.m. as those participating are asked to tune in to help show support in prayer led by three local pastors: Mark Seevers, Dry Run Church of Christ, Darrell Nickles, Life Point Church, and Brian Baer of Rubyville Community Church. The 15-minute service will conclude with a praise and worship song.
“It’s not just our initiative, we’re involving the community and other churches,” Powell said. “It’s a safe way to show support, it’s a great way for the faith community to get involved and pray at one scheduled time. We’re taking it one step further and saying even after this, ‘Churches, stay involved. Find ways to support those on the front lines.”
Powell is encouraging those in attendance not to travel a great distance in their showing of support, but rather visit the closest nursing home or health care facility to their house. Powell also states that the initiative doesn’t recommend people make this their only trip out of the house and that maybe local citizens can use this as an excuse to visit and support a local restaurant.
“Our residents haven’t had their loves ones in the building for almost five weeks with no visitors in the building, our staff are going through a screening process every day before they come in,” Powell said. “It’s very much all-hands-on-deck. If people are looking for ways to get involved, supporting the hospital, of course, but also supporting the nursing homes, EMTs, everyone that’s dealing with it. We think of hospitals as the front line, but really, it’s all health care.”
The ‘Pack the Lots’ initiative is currently planned to be a one-off event by providing a ground-level basis of how to show support for local health care workers.
“In the future, if someone in town or their small group is in the area of a health care provider, by all means, swing by the parking lot,” Powell said. “Turn on your blinkers, so the people inside know you’re praying for them. I think in times like this of darkness, I think it’s nice to see someone pulling for you that you might not know.”
More information on the ‘Pack the Lots’ initiative such as guidelines those participating will be following can be found by visiting their Facebook page.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved