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Upper Ojai Relief delivers for those in need

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Austin Widger, Ojai Valley News reporter
Upper Ojai Relief is back at it again. The nonprofit that assisted people during the Thomas Fire, Montecito mudslides and Woolsey Fire is tackling a new crisis: COVID-19.
Founder and Upper Ojai resident Trevor Quirk has set up a door-to-door delivery service for those most vulnerable: the elderly, immunocompromised, immobile, or in self-quarantine. The service provides medicine, groceries, emergency supplies, child and pet care items.
Quirk said: “I set up this text service where anyone who needs anything — groceries, masks, whatever — they just text relief to this number and it goes to a portal. I’ve got teams of volunteers in Ojai and Ventura making deliveries every day. We’ve made a lot of cool partnerships with people. It’s going really well, if I do say so.”
Upper Ojai Relief partnered with local agencies to make this happen, including the Humane Society of Ventura County and Food Forward. 
The service is also providing personal protective equipment, including masks, to the Ojai and Ventura hospitals. The most recent hospital delivery in Ojai was a bunch of face shields to the Ojai emergency room on Tuesday, Quirk said. 
He said: “I think we’ve delivered more than 1,000 masks by now. I’m a disaster relief specialist. I had a whole bunch of them left over from the Thomas Fire that I saved, from all the work that we’ve been doing. I was gearing up for the next disaster.”
The service is trying its best to deliver goods to people within 24 hours of the request. It is not always possible, depending on the ask, but that is the goal, Quirk said.

 

Though Westridge and Vons are not limiting Upper Ojai Relief on the number of items they can purchase, they are having just as much difficulty getting their hands on items like toilet paper. “I didn’t anticipate there’d be a run on toilet paper when I was getting ready for the next disaster,” Quirk said.
Another project Quirk put together was the recycling of his Ventura County supervisor District 1 campaign signs for a good cause. He said: “I recycled those and made about 100 signs and put them all over the community last (Monday) night, starting in Thousand Oaks and all the way down (to Ojai). Saying thank you to the hospital workers, everybody. Grocery workers, you name it.”
During this time when Quirk’s law practice is slow, he has used the free time to come up with these creative ways to help people, he said.
There are a variety of ways one can contact the service. Quirk said: “They can call into my office. I’ve got my staff set up to intake people. Any method of contact. Email, whatever. We’ve been intaking people from all different (mediums). Doesn’t matter how you get ahold of us, but if you need something we can hook you up.”
To get door-to-door service, text RELIEF to (877) 959-2599, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submit the form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1iFbFCU08P2uKEgdSnBoiZ9brDlMDv5qKBWC_esQnBvM/viewform?edit_requested=true.