Coordinating volunteer efforts

From Sam Jarvis ’09

I’ve been doing a lot of coordination. We’re fortunate with Johnson County/Iowa City and so many non-profit and groups who want to volunteer.

Our United Way is leading the effort for volunteer management and helping other non-profits that are in the food security space–Shelter House, for persons experiencing homelessness, is decreasing their in-house population and coordinating with our CVB to house ill persons (not positive), just so they can socially distance as best as possible. Hotels have been very accommodating since the traffic is low, so they’re taking in healthcare workers so that they don’t take anything back to their family and or other quarantined individuals.

The city is following the trend of putting up hearts around the community as well–we had a mental health professional at one of the press conferences too, to encourage people to be mindful of their mental/emotional health–we’re hosting a long-term care facility call as well to check in with those folks to make sure their needs are met.

Providing medical supplies

From Steve Suskin ’72

I am deep into the COVID fight. As director of development for the Afya Foundation in New York, our mission has pivoted from international medical relief to providing desperately needed medical supplies to hospitals, federally qualified health centers, and organizations which serve the elderly. We are sorting, boxing and shipping thousands of pounds every day throughout the N.Y. area. We are classified as an “essential” service organization in Governor Cuomo’s office.

Very intense…Steve Suskin ‘72.

Go to www.afyafoundation.org to lend your support.

Red Cross blood donations help

From Mel Arney, retired employee

In Springfield, Ill., on Monday, March 23, a standing-room-only crowd of potential blood donors flocked to a hastily scheduled American Red Cross blood drive. People were “social distancing” in the waiting areas as best they could, while waiting for at least two hours. One donor—clearly a regular, since the staff knew him—ordered pizza for the Red Cross staff to have lunch as they kept working to turn “potential” donors into “actual” ones.

The Red Cross staff were working with gloves only, no masks, to leave the local masks for those doing sustained patient care. I was so proud of and thankful for those blood drawers and volunteers, and equally proud of my fellow community members!