Compassion is the foundation for kindness. In the United States, we like to think kindness is high on the list of valuable qualities one can exhibit. In the Tri-State, we believe no one values kindness more than we do.

In an area where many residents have serious, underlying health problems, the current COVID-19 pandemic hits especially hard. Our population is older. Many have asthma, COPD, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, making the likelihood of contracting the coronavirus higher and the likelihood of surviving it lower.

The current best answer to protecting ourselves and others is for those most at risk to stay at home and for those able and/or forced to continue working and getting out, wear masks and gloves and keep your distance.

That’s not always easy, but one Ashland teen is trying to help.

Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Webb has created a website to match those at high-risk to those at low-risk who are in a position to run errands for them.

The site is Realizing not everyone has access to the internet, Webb has made her and her mother’s phone numbers available, too: (606) 369-3546 and (606) 923-3349.

Webb said those who wish to volunteer may do so as much — or as little — as they wish. If someone at high-risk needs just one thing one time, Webb encourages them to use this free service.

There are certain requirements volunteers must meet to ensure they truly are low risk. Webb said they aim to help those who are older than 60 or have underlying health problems that put them in danger, but they will try to help all who believe they need it.

Ultimately, Webb said she would like to see new friendships and support systems formed, but that will depend on how well the paired-up participants hit it off. She said she also hopes volunteers will call to check on their high-risk friend, even if a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy isn’t involved.

 “Hearing a friendly voice will cheer them up,” she said. “We’re spreading a message of hope and compassion.”

Compassion — the foundation of kindness. Let’s hope everyone who needs it will use the COVID-19 match website Webb developed and that it will encourage compassion and kindness to spread.

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