SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Arizona State University students quarantined because of exposure to COVID-19 will soon get a bag full of snacks, a handwritten note, and other essentials to make isolation feel a little more comfortable, thanks to a group of Sun Devil moms.
About a dozen volunteers -- most of them ASU moms, all of them wearing face masks -- got together to load up 300 bags with Goldfish, a stress ball, Gatorade, and an encouraging note. Their bag-filling operation ook over the patio of State 48 Lager House in Scottsdale near Hayden Road and Frank Loyd Wright Boulevard on Sunday.
Sue Rigler, one of the organizers, has a daughter at ASU. Lucy, a sophomore, was diagnosed with COVID-19 about a month ago. She said she felt lucky that she could drop off a few things at her daughter's apartment. Not all parents have that option. The idea for the "COVID care packages" came after Rigler started seeing comments on a private Facebook page for ASU moms. Parents wanted to know what they could do for their Sun Devils, particularly for freshmen who might be on their own for the first time with no family nearby.
Once Rigler put the idea out there, everything came together quickly.
"It's pretty incredible," she said. "It's overwhelming, and this idea came two or three weeks ago. We didn't know each other, but we've all come together, and we just want students to know that ASU moms are out there supporting them in numbers and just bring a smile to their face."
Dozens of ASU moms from the Facebook group, a community of about 5,700 people, stepped up to help, including Valley mom Kris Junod. She's a project manager in the cybersecurity field and volunteered her skills to keep everything organized.
Junod set up a 25-item wish list on Amazon, hoping to get 300 of each thing. Donations and purchases poured in from ASU parents across the country.
"I probably had 400 or 500 boxes come to my house; it was crazy!" Junod explained.
Lucy, who had to quarantine in her dorm when she was sick, was one of the volunteers. Shes said it's not always easy to order a package when you live in the dorms or an apartment because deliveries generally don't come to your door. They're usually dropped off at a mailroom, which means you have to leave your room -- break quarantine and risk infecting others -- to get it.
"It was very lonely having coronavirus because I had to isolate for 10 days, so that was not very fun," Lucy explained. "I felt like I had a bit of a headache, and I could not taste or smell for a couple of days. But other than that, it wasn't too bad." She knows that not all students have the luxury of having a parent bring food.
"It's nice to know that other people are caring for you," Lucy said.
The bags will be delivered to ASU sometime Monday and distributed to students by the university.