(Sent to JVC Community on 3/24/2020)
As the number of cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States continues to grow, legislators are instating shelter-in-place and safer-at-home policies to contain the spread. The ongoing practice of remaining physically distant from others through social distancing can dramatically reduce the number of cases and helps to ensure that our healthcare system is not overwhelmed. These mandates vary dependent on the state, and JVC continues to monitor ongoing changes by maintaining consistent communication with our volunteers and agency partners
Many of you have asked how you can support the Jesuit Volunteers right now. Since many states and communities are currently under shelter in place mandates, we no longer believe it is prudent to ask folks to deliver meals to the JV houses.
Instead, we would ask you to consider making an online donation to JVC. We hope to then provide gift cards for communities to use during their in-home Silent Retreats. In the comments on the donation page, we invite you to include a message through the comment feature to volunteers or a specific community, and we will make sure they receive the message. Any donation helps, no amount is too small! To make your contribution, please click this link here.
All international program JVs are now back in the United States, except the JV communities of Tacna and Andahuaylillas, Peru. We are in close communication with the JVs in Peru, who are being well-supported by the local Jesuit communities. JVC staff are staying abreast of the situation should the opportunity arise to bring the Peru JVs home either before or after the travel ban is lifted. Staff has ensured Peru JVs are registered with the U.S Embassy and have communicated with Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office. All international volunteers that have returned home are still JVs, are receiving health insurance, and will be provided with virtual ways to connect to the community for support and formation during this interim period while we monitor the situation.
Many of our domestic program JVs are now working remotely for their agencies while sheltering-in-place within their JV communities. Some of our JVs have decided to return to their family homes while continuing to work remotely. We still have many JVs that work in positions that are deemed essential and continue to serve those on the margins at food banks, medical clinics, shelters, and other social service agencies.