When the call to organize and help vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic came, the answer was swift.
As part of the county’s Emergency Operations Center response, Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell and Michael Shoe, director of Emergency Management, tasked Annie Burwell, director of the Mobile Outreach, to lead the Wilco COVID-19 Community Organizations Active in Disaster team.
Shortly after, they reassigned Pamela Ward from the County’s Parks Department to the COAD, and both began their work in earnest.
They also formed an advisory board that included Mel Stauber, Missions Pastor, Celebration Church; Doug James, Community Impact Pastor, Hill Country Bible Church; and Derick Zwerneman, Church Development Manager, Austin Disaster Relief Network.
A COAD is a networking group linking people and organizations needing help with necessities such as food, clothing and shelter to businesses and the faith-based community. It focuses primarily on vulnerable populations such as the elderly, and those in fragile health and/or experiencing homelessness.
The COAD’s advisory board immediately recognized that many vulnerable, disabled and senior citizens needed hard-to-obtain personal protective equipment likes face masks, gloves and cleaning supplies.