These kind-hearted volunteers didn’t let COVID-19 keep them from helping their communities

COVID-19 made it more difficult to volunteer, but these Americans still managed to help their communities in inspiring ways.


While the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to volunteer, at the same time, it also meant Americans needed more help than ever.

People all over the U.S. pushed through the challenges, determined to make a difference.

That includes everyone from 90-year-old volunteers who were honored for their efforts, even through the pandemic, to a doctor who volunteered to spend time with patients after his shifts were over.

To help combat isolation, Dr. Ben Moor would sit and talk with patients, and soon dozens of staff members at his hospital agreed to do the same.

"This program is so important, for not only me, but for millions of people who are waiting for their loved ones to call them and say, ‘Hey, I’m OK,’" said Kerri Hurley, the wife of a COVID-19 patient.

In Arkansas, a trio of retired nurses decided to help front-line workers. Their efforts turned into Nurses Crushing Covid, which blossomed into a 60-person team of volunteers.

"I am supporting the true heroes of the pandemic, which are the front-line doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists," explained founder Lori Mahler. "I felt like it’s the least I could do."

Meanwhile, thousands of nursing students in Florida stepped up to help administer the vaccines, even though they were still in training.

Then there's Lasagna Love, an organization with a simple mission: to provide lasagnas to those who just need a helping hand.

In a time when connecting with other people was so difficult, a Pennsylvania woman went out of her way to help Cheryl Fontaine, a senior who was having trouble making a vaccine appointment.

When she heard the story on the local news, the woman, Heather, reached out to help, getting her an appointment and even arranging for a friend to drive Cheryl to the pharmacy.

Noticing a similar appointment issue in her neighborhood, one Pittsburgh woman wouldn't stop until she was certain people from marginalized communities were able to get their second shots.

With a group of nearly 50 volunteers, the woman, Jean Dixon, put pressure on community leaders to get appointments scheduled for these residents, and it worked.

"She has talked to a lot of different people to try to set up information to get us straight," said one resident, Karen Gist. "So, yes, she was very helpful. Words can't express what she has done."