ITHACA, N.Y. — Do you have a spare iPad or tablet laying around? Are you looking for a way to contribute to the local response to the coronavirus? You may be able to help keep a hospitalized patient in touch with loved ones during a difficult time.

Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, in partnership with Cornell University, has organized an effort to gather new or used tablets to connect those that may not otherwise have the means, providing a link between family members and loved ones during a difficult and uncertain time. The donations will be used at all Cayuga Health locations including their two hospitals, Cayuga Medical Center and Schuyler Hospital, according to a release from Cayuga Health.

“The outpouring of support from the individuals, organization and community groups has been heart-warming and appreciated,” said President and CEO of Cayuga Health Martin Stallone. “To Cornell University, Borg Warner, numerous local small businesses, and the many volunteers who are helping sew masks and fill in wherever they can…Thank You! This is truly a one of a kind community. And to our incredible health care teams who risk their safety on the front lines and work very long hours away from family…Thank You!”

Kim Overby, a professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies  — and one of the Cornell faculty members spearheading the effort — said that everyone is so enthusiastic about wanting to help and that several devices have already been donated. The goal is to gather enough equipment to help assisted living and rehabilitation centers, where residents’ families are restricted from visiting.

“Families are so distraught when they can’t talk to their loved ones. We want to make a difference as quickly as possible,” said Overby.

Organizers estimate they will need about 150 tablets to achieve the project’s goals. While cash donations are welcome, the organizers are primarily seeking donations of used, but functional, iPads and other tablets.

“Cornell stepped up with a great solution,” added Stallone. “We are very grateful for this connection with Cornell that has supported us in so many ways.”

Cayuga health is also seeking other items and volunteers and have set up a web portal for those interested in helping out.

The group has set up locations where people can drop-off whatever they are able to contribute. There is also a website where you can find more info on how to lend a hand — through volunteering, contributing to the Cayuga Health COVID-19 Response Fund or providing materials.

Tompkins County:

  • Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, 767 Warren Road, Ithaca, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and  9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.
  • Trumansburg Fire Station, 74 West Main Street, Trumansburg, All Hours
  • Cornell Campus Bartels Hall, 554 Campus Road, Ithaca, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Schuyler County:

  • Tops Friendly Markets 504, 1/2 South Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily at Customer Service Desk
  • Dandy Mini Marts, Inc., 102 Main Street, Odessa, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily to any cashier
  • Glen Motor Inn – 3380 NY-14, Watkins Glen, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., daily to Front Desk