By, Ruth Brittain
In March 2020 along with the rest of the world I lost my livelihood as an extracurricular educator and was stuck at home trying to share an internet connection desperately in need of upgrading with 6 kids and a spouse while recognizing my unsought for responsibility to guide my household through a global pandemic. It didn’t take long seeing the reports of our overwhelmed healthcare workers to conclude, “they need help” and, in the same breath, “I’m available.” It was a no-brainer. I connected with Citizens Corps of Delaware County AKA Delco’s Blue Army who activated their Medical Reserve Corps under the supervision of the Department of Emergency Services with the pandemic emergency. By April I was registered as a non medical volunteer on ServPA’s website, completed my FEMA trainings, got FIT tested for my N95, completed my orientation, received my credentials and was ready for my first deployment: managing a mass drive thru testing site in Darby. I was tasked with registering walk-ins as they needed a Bilingual volunteer. Through rain and storms and heat we worked together to serve our community and provide testing for anyone who needed it. Other assignments I served on included supporting local food pantries in Chester & Prospect Park, a shelter for First Responders, the COVID testing site in Aston, a drive-thru mass distribution to provide sanitation supplies to child care centers, staffing an emergency shelter for citizens displaced by flooding, and most recently taking shifts at Crozer’s Vaccine Clinic supporting hard working medical professionals upon whom falls the enormous responsibility of vaccinating the population of Delaware County. While my position at school this year doesn’t allow me to volunteer as many hours as I did over the summer, I still take shifts on weekends or holidays. You’ll find me somewhere in Chester this Spring break at a vaccination site. Our goal is to vaccinate 7,000 Delco residents every week. We are constantly understaffed and can use more volunteers. Are you 18-75 and available? Shout outs to my household who’ve stepped up to run our home in my absence. It’s both a sacrifice and a privilege. While my pandemic experience hasn’t been full of Netflix, it has most certainly been full of possibility!
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