Reporting For Duty, Again
May 22, 2020
Through this very trying time you have remained optimistic, focused and committed to helping others. We can’t wait to get back out to see you and serve alongside you again. Fostering connections through service brings us joy. As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 era, we are not facing a question of whether we begin to serve in communities again, but how.
Thankfully, in many communities where we operate, COVID-19 indicators seem to be “trending down.” And as we now field requests from community partners to replenish their capacity, we are proud to see our veterans stepping up to fill the void left by volunteer forces that have dwindled or been exhausted during lockdowns.
We want you to feel safe when serving with The Mission Continues. We intend to give our veterans, volunteers, and community partners the in-person experience we all value and look forward to, and we will do so in a way that protects the health and safety of everyone.
We have formed a cross-functional task force that will work with local sites and community partners to ensure these seven elements are addressed, communicated and observed for each and every project:
- Touchless Online Registration: We will require all volunteers to complete a registration online or on their phones to minimize the need to queue up or to interact with registration staffers.
- Limiting Capacity: In accordance with local guidelines for in-person gatherings, we will cap registration to limit crowding and enforce physical distancing.
- Personal Protective Equipment: All participants will be asked to bring personal face coverings and gloves. We will supply those items where we are able.
- Physical Distancing: All service opportunities will be held at sites that allow for physical distancing. We will keep family units together, and ensure that solo volunteers are provided ample space—no less than 6’ apart—to serve alongside others.
- Clean Tools: We are cleaning and sanitizing our tools before and after each use.
- Hygiene Stations: All project sites will have identified stations for handwashing and/or available hand sanitizer to accommodate volunteers.
- Safety Officers: All Mission Continues projects will have dedicated safety representatives to ensure volunteers have the equipment they need, and that physical distance and PPE guidelines are being followed.
For those individuals and communities that are not quite ready for in-person service events, we will continue to create opportunities to serve and connect remotely, as individuals, and from the safety of your home.
We are motivated to start serving in communities where we are most needed and with partners who are ready to welcome us with open arms (from 6 feet away!), as soon as we are able to safely do so. We see that the need created by this pandemic is tremendous. While service projects will not be exactly like we have come to expect, we will begin responding to the much-needed recovery with the enthusiasm, dedication and focus that have marked our mission since our inception.
Mary Beth Bruggeman
President, The Mission Continues