Shared Humanity During Global Pandemic

I hope that this message finds you well and healthy. As the world responds to COVID-19, I am struck by how much this pandemic has impacted my life in so little time. Navigating business implications, managing social distancing, and concern for loved ones seems to be all-consuming—all while monitoring 24-hour updates from news outlets. While managing the careful balance between staying informed and taking technology breaks, I realize that I have a lot to be grateful for during this time. I am grateful for the security of a salaried and flexible job that allows me to work from home. I am grateful for a wonderful support system that regularly checks on my physical and mental health.

I know that everyone doesn’t have the same security and support as I do during these unsettling times, and I am trying to proactively counter feeling helpless by asking myself, “What can I do?” I am reminded that Allyship applies during the most dire circumstances, and I have drawn inspiration and insights while listening to powerful testimonies from the news and colleagues about people’s respective Allyship efforts:

– Healthcare providers risking their own health to care for ill patients
– Advocates pressing to ensure that our unhoused, undocumented, and incarcerated neighbors are not forgotten
– Construction companies and medical shows donating masks to local hospitals
– Neighbors and family members making food and medicine runs for more vulnerable individuals in their lives
– Households paying bills on behalf of others who have lost hourly incomes amidst temporary business closure
– Individuals making donations to local front-line organizations supporting vulnerable society members
– Friends making regular check-in calls to help address the psychological impacts of social isolation

I have gotten clarity for my own actions moving forward thanks to these examples that others have set. As an organization, Service Never Sleeps is committed to practicing social distancing, ensuring that our staff and volunteers stay safe and help prevent the spread of this virus. Simultaneously, we are empowering our Fellows to continue providing virtual skills-based service to our nonprofit partners, so that these organizations still receive capacity support to continue their important work in the community.

This is a time where society can answer a collective calling to become closer, exercise compassion, and do our best to ensure that the greatest number of people stay safe, healthy, and able to thrive. While circumstances like these can ignite a scarcity mentality that leads to individualism, hundreds of examples of community support that I have seen in just a week lead me to feel very confident that shared humanity will win. I will work hard to do my part, and hope that you will join me in doing the same as we press forward together.

In solidarity,

Whitney Parnell
CEO & Co-Founder
Service Never Sleeps

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