PRATT — When Hillside Terrace Apartments resident Luana Renville issued a Facebook call on Nov. 11 for help, friends and neighbors from the Pratt community rallied to answer her plea for groceries and health care items needed by elderly residents there.
Continued coronavirus quarantine rules caused a situation that compounded as positive, active cases increased at the apartment complex.
"I am asking for help," Renville wrote on Facebook. "As you might know, Hillside Terrace has been hit really hard with this COVID-19 pandemic."
Renville, 75, worked as receptionist for Giles Freeman, a physician at Pratt Rural Health Clinic, for many years until the clinic closed. Now she is among 16 Hillside Terrace residents, out of 53 total residents, who has tested positive for the coronavirus in the past few months.
"I was one of the fortunate ones to get it early and am almost fully recovered," said Renville. "We’ve had 16 confirmed cases out of 53 who live in these apartments, and one death. We’re on lockdown ... only essential people can come in. Everyone is wearing masks when not in their apartment."
While Hillside residents who have not tested positive are able to go out into the community, only designated essential workers are allowed to enter the three-story complex at 414 Watson St. in Pratt.
Renville said she issued the plea for help on behalf of the residents who felt the isolation of lockdown and who did not have family support to provide for some of their needs.
"There are people here who have no family, no friends," Renville said. "I stayed up all night one night praying about this. God put this in my heart to help other people."
Renville’s said Hillside Terrace residents need items like powdered sugar-free drinks and disposable underwear. She asked that items being donated be left on benches in front of the entrance, and Renville brought them into the complex to the people in need. Renville said fresh fruit — oranges, bananas, strawberries — and paper goods, including for kitchen and bath, were greatly appreciated.
Community response came quickly, with 15 people stopping by in the first two days after the plea went public to drop off requested groceries and other items.
"We are a community, we help each other," said Toni Perez, Pratt resident. "There is no such thing as asking for too much when COVID is involved."
Perez said she had seen residents taking the gifts.
"It made my heart so happy," Perez posted. "I am taking stuff today. Pratt, keep being the loving community I know!"
Renville asked, that in addition to bringing needed items to the apartment complex, that people please pray for the residents.
"We thank you and God bless you all. We will survive," she said.