Separated but Together: Volunteering in the Era of COVID-19

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July 3, 2020
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July 11, 2020

Separated but Together: Volunteering in the Era of COVID-19

Extreme Community Makeover is known for helping our volunteers enjoy their experience by making sure all the details of the volunteer days are organized and efficient. In the era of COVID-19, volunteering looks a little different, but volunteering can still happen in a safe way.

One of our recent volunteer groups was the Red Rocks Community College Physician Assistant Program. This rigorous, 27-month, nationally accredited program was established in 1988. “It has remained accredited since opening and is the first ever community college in the US to confer its own master’s degree. Our cohort is made of 33 motivated students dedicated to health care and underserved populations,” explains Kayla, one of the students in this program who participated in the volunteer project with ECM.

Kayla expounds on her volunteer experience:

“From this experience, our team learned to balance COVID-19 protocols and community involvement. You can be hands on and effective, while still keeping a safe distance and preventing exposure. It was great to spend the day giving back and also being respectful to the current health conditions surrounding us.”

The team is constantly looking for opportunities to get involved with the community and be an active force of positivity. “It is safe to say that each of us thoroughly enjoys working hands on with various populations and volunteering is just another outlet for us to be able to do so,” explains Elizabeth, another member of the Physician Assistant program who will graduate in 2021.

The team learned what is means to be successful volunteers, even with the demands of COVID-19 protocol – wearing masks and gloves, bringing water bottles and lunch from home, staying a safe distance apart, and spreading smiles and kind words. Kayla states:

“For many of us, this was the first volunteer experience since the onset of COVID-19. We were separate but together, yet had fun throughout the entire day. It was the perfect way to get outside, do good for others, remain socially distanced, have fun, and give back… all at once.”

Elizabeth affirms their volunteer experience by saying, “This volunteer experience was unique in that it was a way to help the community without directly working with people by assisting with an alley clean-up project. Our program is filled with individuals that love working with people hands on, but this was an opportunity to try something different and make a big impact in a very different way. Plus, it not often that we have a chance to get down and dirty for a good cause.”

Elizabeth explains what she learned:

“Personally, I learned that even something so simple as cleaning an alley can really make a difference for the community. Knowing that you can positively impact the community in such an easy and simple way motivates you to do more. Also, it was fun to work as a team to conquer different areas that needed cleaning up allowing us to use our strengths and communication to accomplish our goal.”

Both Kayla, Elizabeth and the entire group of Physician Assistant program students from Red Rocks Community College experienced community by volunteering together. If you would like to learn more about how you can volunteer with ECM right now, please email volunteer@extremecommunitymakeover.org.

                       

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