The spring semester looks a lot different than any other in Concordia University Ann Arbor history.
The global coronavirus pandemic has caused many unexpected shifts to usual events and operations—moving classes online through the spring semester, meeting virtually for daily Home Chapel, postponing spring commencement ceremonies—to promote the health and safety of the CUAA community.
Unchanging and shining bright are Concordia’s core values as a Christ-centered mission driven institution. Service, in particular, has been necessary in recent days and Concordia is making efforts to help essential organizations on the front lines of health and safety.
Wolverine Human Services
Wolverine Human Services is the largest child welfare agency in the state of Michigan, providing services for over 500 children in either foster care, adoption or residential treatment services. As an essential workplace, they were short on every day paper supplies and, like many organizations, were having trouble getting access to more.
“Luckily we had stocked up on paper supplies for the spring semester before all of this started,” said Jerry Novak, director of buildings and grounds. “Without anyone on campus now for the weeks and months ahead, we have more than enough.”
Novak said they were able to fill a van full of toilet paper and paper towels, and gather boxes of children’s books and craft supplies for the kids to enjoy, such as paper, paints, chalk, crayons, and pipe cleaners.
“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are in need of daily need supplies, besides keeping children active and entertained,” said Judith Wollack Fischer, CEO of Wolverine Human Services as well as a member of Concordia’s Foundation Board. “Concordia responded within one hour to pull this together for us. We are greatly appreciative of their response!”
Covenant Community Care
As a clinical partner to Concordia Ann Arbor’s school of nursing, Covenant Community Care serves the homeless and vulnerable on the streets of southeast Michigan.
Recent graduate of CUAA’s school of nursing, Stanley Stinson (’19), is an extremely active member of the Covenant Community Care organization and continues to provide foot care, wound care, and temperature checks to many who are experiencing homelessness and other vulnerable situations.
Stinson and his team of volunteers were running out of the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to keep them safe.
“Stanley reached out to us a couple of weeks ago seeking PPE, and we said, ‘Of course,’” said Ben Oliver, chief simulation specialist in the Concordia school of nursing. “This is more than just an educational experience, this is real life.”
Concordia nursing had personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, and masks in stock for simulation labs, skills practice, and more. With the remainder if the spring semester being held online, there will be less need for the supplies in the days and weeks to come. His former professors and instructors also stocked Stinson with bandages and thermometers needed to make his rounds on the streets.
“We were blessed to have this opportunity to use our resources to help protect health care workers on the frontlines. I wish we were able to do more,” said Campus Dean of Nursing Cindy Fenske. “I know this small gift will have a big impact in protecting those providing care.”
— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-995-7403.
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