Cincinnati, nonprofits team up to help families communicate when separated by coronavirus

Posted at 9:37 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 12:25:11-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions here.

CINCINNATI -- More than 1,000 seniors in the Cincinnati area now have a way to see their families virtually. A national nonprofit partnered with the city and United Way to help get iPads into the hands of those at 20 different retirement and nursing homes.

“This has really been tough, not to be able to see her,” Vince Lasita said.

Vince and Judy Lasita have been married for 65 years.

“This is the longest we’ve ever been apart in quite some time,” Lasita said.

It's been a tough time for the entire family.

“Outside of her and I, her pride and joy are her four great-grandkids,” Lasita said.

The 87-year-old great-grandmother lives at Little Sisters of the Poor in Clifton-University Heights-Fairview, about a 20-minute drive from her home in Green Township. Under COVID-19 related restrictions, everyone has felt much further apart.

The facility posted pictures online after Ohio governor Mike DeWine's order to halt visitation at senior living facilities statewide.

“It says ‘I love you. Have a good day. Miss you. Take care. Love, Judy,'” Judy's daughter Mary Ellen Conroy said.

Judy Lasita.jpg

Now the family has been able to get much closer thanks to a partnership between national nonprofit TCC Gives, the City of Cincinnati and the United Way.

“TCC Gives was able to donate the iPads to us and they immediately shipped them to us," United Way CEO Moira Weir said. "We were able to package them up and then get them delivered immediately within the community.”

Monday, the City of Cincinnati and United Way employees handed out tablets and helped families like Lasita's feel plugged in.

“We still won’t be able to see her, but we’ll make her feel good,” Vince Lasita said.