This past semester has certainly been one to remember and one that I would never have foreseen in even my wildest dreams. With COVID-19 still threatening the health and welfare of our community, I was unable to return to my volunteer duties in the emergency department at Forrest General Hospital. Because I have learned the importance of volunteering in the community, I spent a good amount of time thinking how I could still volunteer but do so in a safe and COVID-free way. I decided on volunteering for the COVID Cares Team as I believed that it would provide me a great opportunity to help provide comfort and aid to my fellow students who caught the virus.
The COVID Cares Team was formed by a group of Luckyday Scholars who wanted to reach out to other students who had or were affected by COVID. Our team created a Google form which was sent out through the Weekly Word where students could fill out what they needed while in quarantine as well as to provide emotional support and encouragement to get them through the uncertain times that they were facing. Each Monday we met through Teams at 3:30 p.m., wherein we discussed which students had COVID that week and schedule a time when the team would meet to make the COVID Care packages. Sometimes we met on Fridays so that we could shop together at Target to get the supplies that we would put in the bags for the people in quarantine. Care packages were either delivered to students who were quarantining on campus or mailed to students who may have been quarantining in their hometowns. Each care package included a card to let each student know that we were thinking of them and hopefully brighten up their day.
Overall, I have really enjoyed being a part of the COVID Cares Team because I love putting other people before myself, regardless of whether I know them or not. By participating in this team, it allowed me to get to know additional fellow scholars that I had not known previously, which was a good thing. I feel better about myself when I am able to serve others by participating with things like the COVID Cares team. If you are interested in becoming a part of the COVID Cares team, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Cate Sliman is a sophomore scholar majoring in Speech Language Pathology.