Although many businesses and organizations have temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, this does not stop people from wanting to help their community. As a result, students especially, have done everything they can to volunteer despite the multiple safety protocols that have been put in place. Sophia Cervantes, the co-head of the community service commission of Saugus High’s ASB, and Ananya Mopur, a member of Santa Clarita’s Red Cross, are just two of thousands of students that have gone out of their way to support their neighborhood amidst COVID-19.
One thing that has become much more prominent since COVID-19 started is the number of restrictions put on volunteering. Ananya Mopur elaborates on these when she says, “Volunteering has become increasingly difficult since Covid started. It is hard to hold [toy drives and food drives] while following safety precautions…” Sophia Cervantes also agrees with Mopur: “Volunteering has changed in the sense that it has become very limited in availability and opportunities as a result of [COVID-19].” Hence, it has been extremely hard for students across the world to freely serve others without being warned of the restrictions due to COVID-19.
Yet, both Cervantes, Mopur, and other student volunteers are happy to do their best to support their town, despite the limitations placed on community service. Cervantes believes that serving those in her city “opens [her] eyes and allows [her] to see [other people’s perspectives].” Mopur furthers the point about the benefits of serving those around her when she explains the influence that volunteering has on society: “Most of my volunteering has been done with [the] Red Cross, where our focus for this year was to educate and raise awareness about issues throughout the world…I have been able to help others understand more about racism and sexism as well as their long-term effects on our communities.” Consequently, to these students, influencing and inspiring others to do what is right is what’s important, no matter the situation.
However, regardless of the fact that many students are willing to go out and serve the public, others are still worried about serving their town amidst the COVID-19 precautions. Hence, Mopur comments specifically on how important volunteering is during COVID-19 when she says, “Volunteering has become essential during Covid because people have been losing their jobs and or businesses. By volunteering, we are able to keep our community running and sustain our people during these harsh times.” Additionally, Cervantes makes clear the impact of assisting those in her city, even when COVID-19 was not around: “Volunteering is the best way they can get involved in the community! It’s such a rewarding experience and you meet so many amazing people along the way.”