One Year of COVID-19: Coloradans grow food, help make vaccine appointments for strangers

Coronavirus

DENVER (KDVR) – In early March 2020, it seemed all we had were questions. We had no idea how much COVID-19 would change all our lives, nor did we expect the pandemic to last over a year.

Helping hands and generous neighbors quickly got to work to support those that struggled more than others, as people lost their jobs, savings accounts and the ability to support their families.

For Krista Kushik, helping her neighbors meant putting her green thumb to a different use. At the start of the pandemic, she and her husband intended on growing their flower business in their garden behind their new home. 

When the severity COVID-19 set-in, the family decided to grow vegetables instead to donate to their local food banks. Last year, the Kushiks were able to give 1,200 pounds of food to those in need.

“We looked at last year as the inaugural year and it put a stamp on where we wanted to go,” said Krista Kushik. “It made us slow down and think about who we wanted to be moving forward.”

This summer, the Kushiks will use their garden for good once again, but this time they will have the support of volunteers who stepped up to help out.

“We had a good response of people that wanted to make that long-term commitment for the whole season,” said Kushik. “We have 10 volunteers that have committed one day a week to come and harvest, wash the produce, and then drop it off at the food bank.”

As the Kushiks dig through the dirt to help feed their neighbors, Trace Faust in Westminster is digging through the internet to help older Coloradans book their COVID-19 vaccine appointments.

“We are all building the plane as we fly right now,” said Faust. “I am just trying to navigate a system that other people are trying to navigate as they build it, and I just happen to be really good at googling.”

Faust has helped over 50 people get their vaccine by constantly checking for open appointment times where vaccines are available.

“The other night I was on the phone at 10:30 because I happened to see three spots pop up in Wheat Ridge,” said Faust. “People that are savvy on the internet and know where to look should be doing this right now, they should be helping other people.”

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