Haskell campaign volunteers check in on seniors

State Senator Will Haskell

State Senator Will Haskell

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

State Senator Will Haskell’s campaign team made more than 10,000 calls over the past three months to check in on local seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic and make sure that households have access to groceries and prescription medication.

“It didn’t make sense to run a normal political campaign in the midst of this ongoing pandemic,” said Haskell, “So many people in our district are struggling with food access and other challenges. Since we had already amassed an amazing team of volunteers, we wanted to make sure that we were doing our part as a campaign to pitch in and help.”

A team of 37 volunteer interns teamed up to call the 10,129 households in the 26th District in which at least one occupant is over 70-years-old. The calling campaign had a contact rate of over 20 percent, and the volunteers from the Haskell campaign spoke live to 2,119 local seniors. If a respondent indicated that they were having difficulty accessing groceries or prescription medication, the Haskell campaign put them in touch with local non-profits and human services departments to ensure continued assistance.

“I have two grandparents who live in the district, and if it weren’t for our extended family checking in on them regularly, they would have had a difficult time picking up groceries, medicine, and other essentials,” said Haskell. “Through this phone bank, we were able to help dozens of people find continuous, stable access to daily essentials.”

The volunteer interns making calls hail from across the 26th District and range in age from recent middle school graduates to rising college seniors.

“COVID-19 didn’t only challenge us physically but socially too, which is why having these conversations with seniors was so valuable,” said Violet Cooper, a rising senior at Staples High School who has been an intern on the campaign since late March. “ It wasn’t just about coordinating grocery or medical assistance, but also compensating for the social interactions that many were missing out on.”

“My passion for public service is why I got involved with the campaign to begin with, so there was something really refreshing about calling citizens just to ask if there was anything we could do for them,” remarked Clay Vaughn, a Ridgefield resident and a rising second-year at the University of Virginia. “Most of the people I spoke with did not need help getting their groceries or medicine, but I did not encounter one person who was not overwhelmingly appreciative to get the call anyway.”

Will Haskell is running for re-election to the state senate in the 26th district of Connecticut, which includes portions of Westport, Ridgefield, Wilton, Redding, Weston, Bethel, and New Canaan. For more information about Will’s campaign and to volunteer to help, visit WillHaskell.com.