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Spirit of Community Alumni Respond to COVID-19

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID-19 is creating new and evolving needs in communities across the country, and the young volunteers honored by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are using their networks, resources and resourcefulness to support front-line workers and neighbors in need. These are just a few of their stories.

Jacob Van of Oregon
Honored in 2020 for: raising money to help two people pay for cancer treatments, and to buy Christmas presents for people living on the streets of Portland
COVID-19 response: raising money to buy pizzas for the staff at nursing homes in his area


Jorja Boller of Nebraska
Honored in 2019 for: running a charity that distributed Christmas gift bags to area retirement homes
COVID-19 response: taking her pony on window visits to brighten the days of nursing home residents


Lucy Blaylock of Tennessee
Honored in 2020 for: making hundreds of “Love Blankets” for kids in challenging circumstances
COVID-19 response: sewing face masks for health care workers in her community and around the world [learn more]


Katie Stagliano of South Carolina
Honored in 2014 for: mobilizing young people nationwide to grow and donate fresh produce for their local food banks
COVID-19 response: leading efforts to pack hundreds of meals a week for people experiencing food insecurity, and mailing seeds to kids who are out of school so they can grow vegetables for neighbors in need [learn more]


John Michael Stagliano of South Carolina
Honored in 2020 for: collecting furnishings to turn houses into homes for veterans and civilians transitioning out of homelessness
COVID-19 response: Working with his sister’s organization to harvest and donate fresh produce for a shelter [learn more]


Andrew Dunn of Kentucky
Honored in 2017 for: starting a citywide campaign called “RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) Louisville”
COVID-19 response: launching a snack-bag collection drive to support students in his community who normally rely on school for regular meals [learn more]


Raegan Junge of Iowa
Honored in 2019 for:
raising money to support homeless veterans and people around the world affected by natural disasters
COVID-19 response: created and now administrates a “blessing box” with essential supplies in the center of town, encouraging people to “give what you can, take what you need” [learn more]


Michaela Auyeung of California
Honored in 2020 for:
creating classes and resources to help kids shift their focus, and the basis for their self-esteem, away from social media
COVID-19 response: with kids now more online than ever, she’s kicked her activity-kit creation into high gear and promotes weekly offline activities [learn more]


Abbie Mueller of Missouri
Honored in 2020 for:
creating a program called “Self Val-YOU: Promoting Positive Personal Imagery”
COVID-19 response: collecting donated cosmetics bags and filling them with feminine hygiene products for girls in need who would normally get them from the school nurse