After graduating from college last year, Ora Tucker Meadows chose to spend a year in service to our country by assisting teachers at an elementary school in the St. Louis suburb of Belleville, Illinois.
When the Covid-19 crisis shut down her school, Meadows, a member of AmeriCorps, a national service organization that she joined out of college, had the option of hunkering down at home. Instead, she found a new way to serve: She spent her days distributing lunches to students, sorting food at a local pantry and checking on seniors who were isolating at home. Now she is tutoring summer-school students online.
For decades, government-funded national service programs like AmeriCorps have been dispatching thousands of young people to help their fellow Americans in communities across the country.
In turn, those who serve receive a modest stipend while gaining new skills and a true sense of purpose.
During the last three months, legions of Americans participating in national service programs have stepped up to provide much-needed assistance for coronavirus response activities.