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Community briefs: Clothing drive, COVID-19 scams, local family’s music video | News | #coronavirus | #scams | #covid19

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Clothing drive on Sunday

Menlo Park’s New Community Church is hosting a clothing drive on Sunday, June 28, from noon to 4 p.m. to collect new clothing items on behalf of LifeMoves, a homelessness services provider based in Menlo Park that works in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

People can drop off donated items in a contact-free manner at the church, located at 1100 Middle Ave., either by staying in their vehicles at the drop-off location, or by requesting that items be picked up from their front porches via the church’s website, anewcommunity.church.

Requested new items include bath towels, men’s and women’s underwear and walking shoes, socks, baby clothes, children’s shirts and pants, and men’s white crew neck T-shirts. More information here.

New or gently used items being collected include pants for men and women, women’s shirts and men’s collared shirts.

The church, which started in August 2018, has raised more than $220,000 for COVID-19 relief to support families, workers, restaurants, nonprofits, care facilities, hospitals and schools, according to a press statement.

DA advises against COVID-19 scams

Scammers claiming to be contact tracers may seek to take advantage of pandemic-related fears to coax valuable private information out of people, according to a recent warning from San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

His office put forward an advisory telling people to be wary of anybody purporting to ask for sensitive private information. Real contact tracers, he reports, will never ask a person for his or her Social Security number, financial or health insurance information or ask to charge money or fees. They will only ask about one’s medical symptoms and the people with which he or she has been in contact, and information provided to the public health department is considered confidential.

Another way to tell if the contact tracer is authentic: If someone’s caller ID identifies the caller as “California COVID Team,” then it is likely the San Mateo County Public Health Department trying to reach them, according to the statement from Wagstaffe.

People are encouraged to report COVID-19 related scams to the District Attorney’s Office at (650) 363-4651, file a report using this form online or file one with their local police department.

“Bye, Corona”

A Portola Valley family went all-in on a project to make a music video called “Bye, Corona” – aptly set to the tune of “My Sharona” by The Knack.

Video creator Sangini Bedner of Portola Valley explained in a message included with the YouTube video that she was struck by the idea to make a music video with coronavirus-specific lyrics, and to use the shelter-in-place orders as a time to be creative and take on what she called a “silly family project.”

She took on the task of learning the video program iMovie and nine weeks later, posted the video in mid-May.

The video starts with a statement: “To Coronavirus,” she writes. “You have infected and hurt too many. You have canceled milestones too many. But in case you think you’ve won, not so fast.”

It then opens to a family of four, dressed in black, dancing in unison in their kitchen to the voiced-over lines of the song: “Ooh potential deadly one, d-deadly one, you think you’re going to take us on corona, but we’re going to beat you, hon, b-beat you hon, then you’re going to poof and disappear, corona.”

The video is interspersed with news clips, photos and a frantic interlude of spritzing hand sanitizer. Other props include face masks and toilet paper.

Bedner, who is a professional actress, dancer and choreographer said in an email that the Portola Valley town historian also planned to put the video into its archives as a reflection of the town’s spirit.

Watch the video here.

Editor’s Note: After this story was posted, organizers of the clothing drive clarified that they will be only collecting new items, not used ones. The story has been updated to reflect that.

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