Networks of Support: Lakers Respond to COVID-19
“Never have we been called more to do our part. Never has our creativity, human spirit, and instincts been called on so deeply to do what is right for all. We are called to bring our energy to serve humanity in new and expanding ways.”
Networks of Support
President Mantella called on the entire community to harness our power, talent, intellectual capacity, and compassion to activate networks of support in key areas of need where you have skills and expertise:
- Companion support and check-ins: All of us can stay in close touch with friends, families, our classmates and colleagues, and others who are close to us who may live alone. Contact our students for check-ins and to provide feedback to the university. Those with specialized training might work with skilled nursing or senior care facilities to place phone calls to residents who may be at risk of social isolation.
- Mental health and well-being: Educate yourself and others on how to manage mental health during the COVID-19 crisis by checking out, using, and sharing resources from UCC, creating and maintain virtual social networks, checking in on student groups and classes, volunteering with the Trevor Project to provide virtual support to LGBTQ youth, and others.
- Vulnerable population support: Support individuals, such as seniors, those with disabilities, and others at higher risk, who may need someone to go out to get groceries.
- Economic support of small businesses: Connect with SBDC, the Coronavirus Civilian Corps, and others doing important work in this area.
- Inclusion and Equity: Support training for creating inclusive virtual spaces; provide peer coaching and mentoring to underrepresented students.
- Support local nonprofits: If you’re able to support financially, please consider. If your skillset positions you to consult with or advise, please do. Check out the Johnson Center for additional opportunities and resources to share.
- Medical supply design and development: Support PCEC’s mask development if you have sewing skills. This can be done from home. Go to PCEC's website for more information.
- Connect with Laker Networks: Connect with alumni chapters, clubs, and other alumni connections to see where assistance is needed in local communities. Lakers for a Lifetime are dedicated to a lifetime of service to the community.
- Hospital and medical care professionals support: Although in-person volunteer opportunities are currently limited, support frontline workers virtually through KCON's campaign to thank nurses. As needs change, support local hospital efforts.
- K-12 remote education delivery and other support for parents/guardians: Connect your passion for learning with the largest areas of need around K-12 and family supports as our community navigates school closures. Volunteer your time or contribute to and share the K-12 Summer Tutoring pilot program or Charter Schools Office Family Resources for Learning at Home resources.
Each network will be assigned a staff point person. Opportunities will vary including connecting those who sign-up with agencies or organizations who provide direct support, coordinating with grassroots opportunities, and/or developing new avenues for support as needs change. All efforts will consider the broader health and well-being challenges we face today. Complete the form below or contact email@example.com with your interest and skillset.
As Lakers we understand that even as we manage the impacts to our university, we must also look beyond to serve our community and society as we are able. Please check out the following centralized resources for opportunities to volunteer – even remotely – or to donate to support in the COVID-19 response and continue to check www.gvsu.edu/community for updates and opportunities.
- State of Michigan COVID-19 Volunteer Resources
- Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
- DIY Volunteer Activities
- HelpWithCovid.com, a clearinghouse for COVID-19 related projects and volunteers looking to help, run by a passionate grassroots team from across the world.
- Care Ottawa County
- Heart of West Michigan United Way Volunteer Center
- Give blood if you’re able at American Red Cross.
- While currently set for volunteers, Kids Food Basket, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, and The Dwelling Place, which provide food, childcare, and housing support to our most vulnerable communities and public health workers, have different immediate needs and which will certainly grow and change.
- Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce and Local First are offering resources on how to support local businesses. Volunteer with Coronavirus Civilian Corps.
- Support PCEC’s mask development if you have sewing skills. This can be done from home. Go to PCEC's website for more information.
- Do your part to complete and promote completion of the U.S. Census. More information at GVSU Counts.