Local businesses, churches, community organizations reaching out on social media to help families in time of need


Earth Pets of Gainesville Owners Joy Drawdy and Kat Smith are notifying customers via social media posts that they are happy to deliver any pet supplies to folks who are self-quarantining.

Hey there Gainesville! Your local shopkeepers know that some of our customers are self quarantining and we understand and support your decision to help keep our community healthy,” reads a post from March 13. “We are happy to provide free delivery to those who cannot or shouldn’t go out but still need food or treats for their pets. Just give us a call or get us on Messenger and let us know what you need. We’ll help you make it work. Together, we will get through anything.”

Tina Talmadge, store manager, said they are trying to discourage older or more vulnerable customers from leaving their houses. “We’ve always provided this service,” Talmadge said. “But we’re really putting it out there so older people to come out.”

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In between all of the cancellation announcements for St. Patrick’s Day events, non-profit thrift shop closings, and shared updates on school closings are offers to help out with food and services.

The High Springs Fire Department also posted an announcement on March 13th that the Alachua County School Board would be providing meals for children during the time schools are closed:

During the week of March 16, packaged meals will be given out to all children age 0-18 at Eastside High, Buchholz High, Gainesville High, Newberry High, Santa Fe High and Hawthorne High as follows:

March 16, 8-9 a.m.: Children will be provided with a packaged breakfast

March 16, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Children will be provided with a packaged lunch and a packaged breakfast for the next morning

March 17, 18th and 19th, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Children will be provided with a packaged lunch and a packaged breakfast for the next morning. 

Deeper Purpose Community Church and its youth and student ministries are trying to help out Alachua County parents with discounted daycare since the announcements of schools closing on Monday.

Due to the Mandatory Closure of All Public Schools & Most Private Schools, MANY Parents that cannot take off & HAVE to work, have found themselves in a bind & very little time to find a safe place for the students to go while they work all NEXT WEEK. DPCC is opening its Facilities to the Community all next week from 7:30AM -5:30PM & will be providing a Safe place for students to go. We will have a ton of activities & things for them to do, & they’ll have a lot of fun. You do NOT have to live in High Springs to bring your Children. This is NOT a DAY CARE CENTER, so we’re unable to accept babies & toddlers,” the post reads. “We are asking a DONATION of $20 per day to help with the many costs associated with making this available.”

The Facebook group Gainesville Business Word of Mouth has started a thread for the almost 30,000 members to communicate about where to find the hard-to-get supplies related to coronavirus.

“I’m going to be on a wild goose chase today looking for toilet paper,” Posted Member Victoria Faith Evans. “Does anyone know where it is still in stock? Or when new shipments might come in?” Other members are chiming in with there suggestions.

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