Honoring Our Frontine Heroes: The National Guard

In states all across America, the National Guard is rising up to offer assistance and join the fight against COVID-19. Their ability to remain flexible and adaptive in the ever-changing circumstances make their contribution during this crisis invaluable.

These amazing men and women are helping in food banks, running drive-thru testing stations, distributing medical equipment, staffing call centers, and setting up treatment sites, just to name a few.

According to Sgt. Jacob Winton, a member of the Tennessee National Guard, “When you join the National Guard, you just want to be able to help your community in times like this.”

And that’s exactly what they’re doing, whatever it takes.

In Charleston, West Virginia, almost 350 members of their National Guard are helping to deliver critical medical supplies to healthcare workers, educate stores and restaurants on protective measures, distribute food, direct traffic at drive-thru testing sites, and provide information and analytics to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Major General James Hoyer said, “Our men and women are showcasing the innovation, determination, and driving spirit of our force in their actions to assist the State of West Virginia each and every day.”

We are honored by the National Guard’s sacrificial service to our country and to our communities. Thank you for being on the frontlines.

For more information and stories on all the wonderful things the National Guard is doing, please visit: https://www.nationalguard.mil/News/.

Honroing Our Frontline Heroes: Kid’s Food Basket

Did you know that 1 in 5 Michigan children go hungry every day?

As I continue the series “Honoring Our Frontline Heroes,” the organization I am featuring today holds a special place in my heart as they serve my local community in Michigan. Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) is a non-profit organization that is working to change the above-mentioned statistic by providing nutritious evening meals to kids, and engaging the community through volunteering and education.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many citizens are suffering from unemployment, which causes the crisis of hunger to grow. There are many vulnerable families that are not able to go to the store or get the resources they need, which is why Kids’ Food Basket is critical.

KFB has created an Emergency Response Program. They have divided their volunteers into three teams. On a team’s designated week, they will be the only ones to enter the KFB building to assemble the meals. In this way, they lessen risk and should one of the teams go into quarantine, the other teams will be able to continue assembly and distribution.

According to Bridget Clark Whitney, the President and Founding CEO of Kids’ Food Basket, “What both launches me out of bed in the morning and keeps me awake at night is the unimaginable number of 75,000 local kids experiencing food insecurity who didn’t have what they needed prior to the crisis. While the Shelter in Place policy is a critical step to stop COVID-19, the ramifications to vulnerable populations will be incalculable. There were 75,000 children across our four counties that were qualified for federally subsidized breakfast and lunch, now, with Shelter in Place, healthy food resources, which were already expensive for struggling families, have become that much more difficult to access.”

In just two weeks time, KFB packed and distributed 73,302 healthy meals to over 60 sites across four counties (Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa & Allegan).

Bridget goes on to say, “Over the last two weeks, I’ve felt a constant duality in my personal response to this crisis – it guts me knowing how many of our community members are struggling, and we’re just at the beginning of the impact. At the same time, I’m energized and encouraged by the prospect of deep growth. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of humanity, and collectively, we are at war with a virus. This war will force us to dig deep, build grit, discover tenacity, and problem solve…when things are at their worst, we have the opportunity to be at our best.”

Thank you to the volunteers of KFB who are on the frontlines continuing to provide meals to children through this worldwide crisis. You are heroes.

Donations can be made on their website (https://www.kidsfoodbasket.org) or text KFB to 56651.

Check out the article by Bridget Clark Whitney called “Food distribution for kids during COVID 19” for more information. (https://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/features/kids_food_basket_covid19_response.aspx?fbclid=IwAR2JW2fLXw08y_RmIGDBdHzwylABph0PiIfcARbDvHC5DAyy5kOwxDyiGSk)


~Written by Catie Cordero (A Diverse Global Article)

Honoring Our Frontline Heroes: Julissa Uribe

Julissa Uribe is a healthcare worker in California, a state with 40 million residents and the first to lock down on March 19th. Along with her Warrior Squad in Modesto, Julissa is working hours around the clock to help patients fight against COVID-19.

Julissa works in the Kaiser Emergency Department, where each day, she steps onto the frontlines. She says, “My heart bleeds for everyone that is affected by this virus in any way.”

With the high volume of cases, the Kaiser ER has set up a tent outside for triage. There, patients are assessed and treated for respiratory and flu-like symptoms. This triage is open from 7 AM to midnight. After midnight or when the tent exceeds its limit, the inside respiratory lobby is used. In addition, they have established an outside tent where technicians operate a portable x-ray machine. In this way, they limit the amount of patients entering and exiting the hospital. When patients are beyond the treatable regulations in the tent, they are moved to a room inside the hospital.

“No one likes the unknown nor uncertainty,” says Julissa, “but we will cross that bridge when we get there. Remember, each of us can help make a difference, we are in this battle together. Help us fight, help us by doing your part and stay home. Help us by understanding and following the rules.”

We are thankful for Julissa and her team of healthcare heroes, fighting on the frontlines during this pandemic. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

~Written by Catie Cordero (A Diverse Global Article)

Honoring Our Frontline Heroes: Carmen Slenk

Carmen Slenk, an occupational therapist in Lansing, Michigan, works in rehabilitating geriatric patients at Medilodge of Campus Area. In order to safeguard the patients, each employee enters through the back door of the building, where their vitals are checked before being permitted into the common areas.

Statistics show that COVID-19 has presented greater risk in people ages 60+. Since the majority of patients are over this age, Medilodge is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of their patients.

With the uncertainty and sorrows surrounding this pandemic, it is easy to be swept up in fear. That is why Carmen and the other therapists at Medilodge are going above and beyond to bring fun and cheer to the workplace. Today, staff are donning their flower-power and tie-die prints for Hippy Day.

Thank you to Carmen, and all the other therapists on the frontlines, ensuring care and help to their patients. We appreciate you.


~Written by Catie Cordero (A Diverse Global Article)