Corona Virus Pandemic – Two Ways to Help Needy Neighbors, AND to Get Local Help

By Dick Schwind

We South Skyline mountain people usually know most of our neighbors and would be willing to help them when they need some help. This is a good time to check on them to offer help when they need it, particularly during this pandemic.

The next best way and expanding your help wider, is to be a VOLUNTEER with the ‘Mountain Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ (MNHN), South Skyline Area. The MNHN is a small, all volunteer nonprofit centered on the summit on the east side of Highway 17. The organization describes itself as, ‘Mountain Neighbors Helping Neighbors is a group of volunteers who provide free help to residents of the Santa Cruz mountains, especially our seniors. We coordinate occasional or short-term services such as stacking wood, visiting, giving rides into town, delivering meals, light temporary house-keeping, form-filling, trash cleanup, repairs, clearing storm drains, light clearing of defensible space, and assistance in using the internet.’

MNHN is a member of The National Volunteer Caregiving Network (NVCN). They have secondary insurance (i.e., if in a vehicle accident, this insurance will cover above the limits of you own insurance). Some of you may remember there were articles in the ‘Skylines’ some years ago. Yes, we had this Skyline area MNHN, but we disbanded as no one wanted free help! We are starting it up again expecting there will be a real need during this pandemic.

PATRICIA WOOD is the founder and President of the MNHN. When a request comes to MNHN (website or Patricia’s phone), she sends a request for volunteer help to one or more of her lists. When someone offers to perform the service, she connects the requester to the volunteer, otherwise she informs the requester they cannot be helped by the MNHN at that time. This is a low budget but effective organization!

To REQUEST HELP (free) or VOLUNTEER, go to the website and fill out the application and submit it if volunteering, OR for either requesting help or call Patricia Wood, 408-353-4565. If volunteering (there are no dues) you will be interviewed by phone by Patricia, and except in the most unusual cases, you will be accepted. Please make it clear you are from the South Skyline area. I believe there is a minimal of on-line training. I (Dick Schwind,, 408-867-9422) am again ‘leading’ the South Skyline Area group by helping Patricia. Please also send me your contact information when applying as a volunteer so I can add you to the Skyline list of volunteers. BE GENEROUS with your help! Thank you!