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From Uncertainty to Hospitality: Volunteering during COVID-19

Thinking back to the summer as I contemplated starting a year of service during a pandemic, my underlying feeling was fear. There were so many uncertainties and new challenges that I had never really tackled before. Not only were there challenges typical for a year of service – homesickness, learning a new city, living in a community with strangers – but there were ones related to COVID-19 and all of the unknowns surrounding this pandemic.

New beginnings are scary, especially when everything is changing and there is uncertainty in so many cities across the United States. However, throughout everything, the amount of support and encouragement I received overwhelmed the fear I faced. From day one at Mercy Volunteer Corps, I have been given constant offers of help, advice, and tips for getting around Baltimore. I’ve been welcomed by members of the community, from MVC, my service site, and my neighbors in Baltimore. I have not felt stifled by being here in Baltimore during a pandemic, but I have started to better understand the community by seeing how welcoming and hospitable people are despite these challenging times.

Katrina Thaibinh: Baltimore, Maryland

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