Members of the Springfield College AmeriCorps program are partnering with Parent Villages, Inc. and other local nonprofits, to lead the Village Engagement Matters initiative, a program committed to providing community members with facemasks at no cost to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Springfield College AmeriCorps members have been assisting with the production of the masks, and also helping with the planning of the distribution efforts.
“Giving back to our community is always something we have done in our family, and we are committed to helping with this project,” said Springfield College AmeriCorps member and social work student Molly Glynn. “My mom and I started making masks for our family members, but that quickly has turned into helping our community as well. What I like about the Olson Mask pattern we are using is, it provides a pattern to make masks for both adults and kids, and the pattern also allows for a pocket on the inside for a micron filter to help those individuals who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.”
The initial distribution of protective facemasks will be on Tuesday, May 12, starting at 11 a.m. at the following meal distribution sites for Springfield Public Schools and Sodexo: Rebecca M. Johnson Elementary, Indian Orchard Elementary, and Lincoln Elementary. There will be 100 masks at each location distributed on a first come first serve basis.
“The Parent Villages organization always tries to stay in touch and learn about items that community members really need, and obviously right now the masks are at a high demand,” said Parent Villages, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lakisha Coppedge. “Springfield College stepped up to the plate to help, and we can’t thank the college enough to make this project a reality, and always being there to help our community members.”
During these challenging times of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Springfield College AmeriCorps members continue to seek opportunities to serve the greater Springfield area, including volunteering their time on making sure the Village Engagement Matters initiative is a success.
“It really means a lot to have AmeriCorps members finding ways to support others,” said Springfield College AmeriCorps Director LaTonia Naylor. “We continue to live our Humanics mission at Springfield College of educating students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership and service to others. It brings me so much joy to watch people step up and show love and support for our community members.”
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.