Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Michigan Community Services Commission (MCSC) jumped into action during the COVID-19 pandemic as the State of Michigan's lead agency of volunteerism and donations management during times of disaster.
MCSC secured donations of over 16 million pieces of personal protection equipment and products to help Michiganders, including healthcare workers, youth and the elderly.
A total of 6,782 volunteers registered with MCSC to engage in 330,218 service hours to further progress the COVID-19 response and recovery for the state.
MCSC also received the largest Volunteer Generation Fund in the country of $2.2 million over three years to support volunteerism during the pandemic recovery. Through the creation of the Michigan Community Resilience Program, the MCSC granted out $200,000 to 13 regional organizations to support the infrastructure and capacity of nonprofits throughout the state.
"We want to tap into Michigander's grit and determination to help others and start a volunteer movement," said Ginna Holmes, MCSC's Executive Director. "We want to ensure we collaborate across the state and that organizations have the tools and resources to support local efforts."
MCSC also played a large role in organizing and training volunteers at the Ford Field Vaccination Clinic. The commission promoted, recruited, registered, trained, and scheduled volunteers to support the vaccination clinic. The friendly faces of the volunteers provided a warm greeting to many residents. In addition to Michigan based volunteers, MCSC also leveraged AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team to help vaccination efforts as well.
"It is inspiring to see the wide support from national service members, community volunteers and disaster response volunteers who have all joined efforts to help Michigan recover from COVID-19." said Holmes.
The commission also provided $45,000 to support 114 service projects, engaging more than 8,000 volunteers for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Global Youth Service Day. Volunteers participated in making child-sized masks, distributing food services, addressing the needs of mental health and the homeless, and many other services to assist the community throughout the pandemic.
In partnership with Applied Textiles, MCSC provided mask making kits to volunteer sewers, who created 40,000 masks.
Michigan AmeriCorps members also adapted their service aid to COVID-19 relief efforts. Members engaged in activities such as providing emergency food distribution, delivering basic needs and hygiene kits, assisting at drive-thru testing sites and many others in response to the pandemic.
MCSC provided resources to nonprofits across the state to help aid their efforts and strengthen capacity.
"The Michigan Community Service Commission has provided great resources to help us support youth during these trying times. Mentoring is such an important tool that has proven to guide youth to success," said Eric Miller of the Lawn Academy. "We are thankful for the Commission for assisting us in mentoring more youth, serving more of those in need and running our nonprofit more efficiently."