During the COVID-19 crisis, the Center for Community Engagement and Service is still providing outreach and support to its partners. While students remained home after spring break, leaving the Center without its usual team of volunteers, the Center’s staff members continued to support and perform outreach to community partners.
Using social media as a platform, the Center performed drives to collect masks, school supplies and cleaning products to distribute to those in need. Many of the items when into an initiative in which the Center sent care packages to Rogers High School students in need. Orlando Peace, coordinator of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County’s North End Clubhouse, reached out to Rogers High School students. Students picked up care packages that contained snacks, hygiene products and school supplies. Despite wearing protective masks, they ensured us they were smiling and grateful for the care packages.
One community partner that the Center has been lucky enough to continue serving is Rebuilding Together Greater Newport. Rebuilding Together has the mission of providing a safe and healthy home for every person on Aquidneck Island. The local 501c3 was established in 2001, and since then it rehabilitates homes and social service agencies during the month of April each year.
For 8 consecutive years, Salve Regina University has been a primary sponsor on helping to make homes safe through Rebuilding Together, and Salve Regina students are highly involved. This year, Salve Regina staff still partnered with Kiwanis Club Newport to help fix up the Salvation Army. The main goals were to fix the inside painting panel of walls and doors, as well as complete some mulching outside.
In addition to the Rebuilding Together work, the Center for Community Engagement and Service director Kelly Powers and assistant director Kathleen Rendos have been continually volunteering for soup kitchens on Sundays and food pantries on Mondays during the pandemic.