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Service During COVID-19

 The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less; to rediscover that life is of no use if not used to serve others.  For life is measured by love.” ~Pope Francis Palm Sunday Homily 2020.

It can be a scary and lonely time while we navigate social distancing during COVID-19 and the realities and emotions which this pandemic has caused. As we balance care of ourselves, our families, and concerns for our global family, finding ways to care for our neighbor or those on the margins can provide a sense of purpose, belonging and connectedness. See below for ways to connect with service sites whom we serve weekly, to find new ways to give back to our larger community and to learn how you can advocate for communities easily forgotten during this unprecedented time.

Continue to Serve

Continue to serve at our weekly service sites:

Adult Literacy: Record a 1-2 minute positive greeting to send to residents of the Fogarty Center.  Send to donnamdimeglio@gmail.com with subject line “PC Adult Literacy Greetings.”

Elderly Outreach: Send a card to a lonely resident at the Jeanne Jugan Residence Home run by the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Due to HIPPA privacy restrictions, please address this to “Dear Friend” and mail to:   Kate Robichaud-Activities Director, Jeanne Jugan Residence, 964 Main St, Pawtucket, RI 02860.  Jeanne Jugan has 50 seniors in regular rooms and 24 is assisted living rooms. 

Children’s Outreach with St Pius: Film yourself reading a story book or doing stretches for a “brain break.”  Send this video to kindergarten and first grade teachers at St Pius Elementary School in Providence to calmonte@spvri.org (in the subject line indicate PC reads to St Pius students)

Children’s Outreach with San Miguel: San Miguel is looking for students to pick up and drop off food support to our students families. Pick up at 525 Branch Avenue Wednesdays from 11-1 and drop off at 6 locations to be designated at time of pickup. Families will know you are coming and no direct contact necessary. Contact Melissa Mardo at mmardo@providence.edu if interested

Hunger and Poverty Outreach: For students who live in Rhode Island, bring pre-bagged, nonperishable food or bread to St. Edward’s Food Pantry (997 Branch Avenue) between 10 AM and noon any Wednesday 

My Home Court: To launch My HomeCourt 2020, we need PC students’ help with a range of things, including getting the word out, painting, decorating, celebrating, and more. In these strange times of COVID-19, we have to get creative in advance! And as we do that, we will follow all national and local safety precautions to protect our volunteers and staff. Find out how to help now here!

Habitat for Humanity:  Write an encouraging message to go on Habitat for Humanity’s virtual Beams of Hope. Click here to leave a message today!

State and National Opportunities

State and National Service Opportunities

Write to Students: Inspiring Minds-Volunteers are needed as pen pals!  Write to elementary school students on a weekly basis to encourage them to read and write, inviting them to write a letter back, by enclosing a self addressed and stamped envelope.  An online orientation is provided through the United Way of RI.   Please contact Lena Vye at Ivy@inspiringmindsri.org or 401-274-3240

Caregiver Gratitude: Send words of encouragement and thanks (notecards, drawings, etc) to medical professionals and nursing staff at Elizabeth Manor in Bristol, RI.  Mailing address is THANK YOU STAFF, Elizabeth Manor, 1 Dawn Hill, Bristol, RI 02809

Tutoring: GO PEER vets college students from top tier universities across the country with high school students who need tutoring.  Typically, they charge but during this time, they are offering 2 hours of free tutoring to students in need.  To find out more information and apply to become a tutor, go to GoPeer.org 

Donate Blood: Hospitals are currently experiencing a blood shortage, so consider donating blood at your local Red Cross.

Senior Buddy: Create a long-lasting friendship with a senior through virtual connection. Big & Mini is an organization that matches young adults with older adults to foster friendship and combat isolation. For more information and to volunteer, click here.

Deliver a Meal: Meals on Wheels America is in need of drivers to deliver meals to the homebound. During this time many usual drivers are unable to drive due to their own health risks, which leaves a need perfect for college students who are home! Find out how to become a volunteer here.

Learn and Advocate

Learn and Advocate for those on the margins

Housing Insecurity: Write to your government representatives to encourage more relief funding for shelters and other organizations that support the homeless population. The National Low Income Housing Coalition has tips and resources to help connect you to your congress representative. Click here

Food Insecurity: Write to Congress asking for an increase in SNAP benefits. The Ignatian Solidarity Network has also put together a comprehensive letter that you can send to your Congress representative asking for more support toward vulnerable populations.

Immigration: Write to your Congress representative and demand that protection be given to all individuals, regardless of citizenship status. This includes providing health care, unemployment benefits, and suspending immigration enforcement activity. Here is a template letter from the Ignatian Solidarity Network.