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Spirit of Community, Youth Service and COVID-19

Thursday, April 2, 2020

To honorees, alumni, parents and program partners across the country: 

What a few weeks it’s been. The Spirit of Community teams at Prudential and NASSP have been thinking of you in these tumultuous times, and hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe. 

COVID-19 has upended many lives – from cancelling school and so many events, to closing businesses and straining our health care infrastructure. While this period of closures and social distancing affects each of us in different ways, the common thread is disruption and uncertainty about the weeks ahead, for ourselves and for the communities where we live and serve. 

As circumstances change and change again, we have been thinking about how we can meaningfully support and spotlight the service activities of young people. COVID-19 and the resulting economic and societal effects are creating enormous need in communities across the U.S. and around the world. Volunteering may not be front of mind for many of you right now, as you adapt to new and challenging personal circumstances. Some of you with active service projects may be retooling, or thinking about it, to address the needs arising in your communities. Some of you may not know where to go from here.  

So that’s where we’ll begin. In the coming weeks, we will be spotlighting the different ways our past and current honorees are reaching out to help those dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. We hope this serves not only as a source of inspiration for those considering their own volunteer options, now or in the future, but also as a bright light at a difficult moment – a demonstration of the determination, creativity and adaptability of today’s generation of young volunteers. If you have a COVID-19 service story to share, please send it to rebecca.mahan@prudential.com

We are also committed to giving this year’s State Honorees the recognition they deserve. As state and federal guidelines continued to tighten, the Spirit of Community team made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel our 25th annual national recognition events in Washington, D.C. We understand the disappointment of losing another recognition activity, amidst the other cancellations many students are dealing with. We want to make sure we celebrate the 2020 State Honorees, and we’re working on finalizing plans to do that virtually in early May. 

Stay tuned to our social media channels for project spotlights in the coming weeks. If you have any questions for us, please email spirit@nassp.org

Stay healthy and safe. 

Sincerely, 

Greg Loder 
Executive Director, Prudential Spirit of Community Initiative 

Ann Postlewaite 
Director of Student Programs, NASSP