AmeriCorps VIP-HART Members Supporting Vaccine & Food Security Efforts

July 26, 2021

It is indisputable that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on health clinics, food banks, and innumerable other organizations as an influx in their need has skyrocketed. AmeriCorps members across California have played a substantial role in the call-to-action at these organizations since March 2020, stepping up where they are needed most. The AmeriCorps VIP-Health Action Response Team (HART) had its first members begin their service in June 2021 to continue these efforts in vaccination rollout and food security for all Californians.

AmeriCorps VIP-HART, a proud partnership between California Volunteers and the Napa County Office of Education, has members across the state, serving diligently toward the goal of expanding and building upon the volunteer programs at their respective organizations. One such AmeriCorps member is Melanie Knapp, who is serving with CommuniCare Health Centers in Davis, California.

When asked how CommuniCare Health Centers has been affected by the pandemic, Melanie states that there has been a “significant impact,” especially with their volunteer programs.

“When the pandemic hit, all volunteer roles were ended abruptly with no timeline of when they would be returning. This put a strain on the organization due to the fact that a workforce that they heavily relied on was no longer available.” – Melanie Knapp

Melanie has hit the ground running at her site to help navigate these challenges, most prominently with the recruitment of door screener volunteers at the health clinics.

“This role is vital because it aids in keeping our patients and staff healthy and safe. Having a volunteer in this role is extremely helpful because it allows trained employees to focus on the well being of our patients.” – Melanie Knapp

The dedication to service by Melanie and all HART members has not gone unnoticed, and we cannot wait to see all that they accomplish with their communities throughout the service term!

If you are interested in becoming an AmeriCorps VIP-HART member, we are recruiting until the end of July! Visit the AmeriCorps Health Action Response Team website for more information.