6 Apr 2020
As we continue living in unprecedented times, local communities, like our own, have become closer than ever, while staying apart. In a silver lining to the chaos around us, local members of the Jackson Hole community have come together to make a difference. Here are a few spotlights of what this tiny town in the Tetons is doing to help us all. And for all official COVID-19 information in Teton County, click here.
Corey Milligan, a local resident and owner of New West Knifeworks, decided to begin a public relations campaign coined “We are Jackson Hole.” At his knife factory, just over Teton Pass, he began making bottles of hand sanitizer for the community. With help from his fellow employees and family the hand sanitizers were distributed to local residents outside grocery stores. When the demand got too high, Milligan partnered with another local entrepreneur, Grand Teton Distillery, to mass produce the bottles. With over 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer produced, they now have sanitizer refilling stations where you can bring your own bottle and refill it at your convenience. Anyone can take advantage of this benefit. For more information and locations, click here.
Keeping our community fed is a huge priority. Hole Food Rescue has continued their efforts to provide food for the vulnerable and in need. Community members come together multiple times a week under the guidance of Hole Food Rescue to cut bread and pack lunches, six feet apart, of course. These lunches then become available for pickup for anyone in the community. Teton County School District is also providing meals while the school district is hosting remote learning to all children on the school lunch program. JHMR is doing our part by donating over 1,000 lbs of food between employees and the Hole Food Rescue, and a pallet of Nature Valley Bars are being donated to the Wind River Indian Reservation.
St. John’s Health Foundation has started a program called the “Jackson Hole Mask Project” in which community members are encouraged to donate materials to make masks or sew them themselves. These masks and materials are then distributed to the brave nurses and doctors fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. With such a national shortage of medical PPE, the foundation is hoping to supply St. John’s with 1,000 masks.
Local non-profits and law enforcement are stepping up to support our most vulnerable populations. An organization called One22 has begun a shareholder’s program with scholarship funds for those in need in Teton County. The Community Foundation of Jackson Hole raised $1.4 million dollars for a new Community Emergency Response Funds. The local sheriff’s office began a prescription delivery service to those residents over the age of 60 who are at risk of being in high volume areas.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted so many businesses, both large and small. With so many restaurants and shops still providing services via online and phone orders, we ask all of Jackson to #shoplocaljh and support these businesses that are trying to keep people employed and their doors “open”.
In such trying times, it’s amazing to see how community members didn’t skip a beat to lend a helping hand and find innovative ways to keep their small town afloat. As Jackson Hole locals I think we all can all harvest a sense of pride that those among us are all heroes in their own way.