The health and safety of Mercy Volunteers is our highest priority.
Mercy Volunteer Corps is asking all Mercy Volunteers to remain in their respective cities for the duration of their year of service. We do not intend to close our program early. This decision was made following the CDC’s recommendation of limiting travel and adhering to social distancing.
We understand that Mercy Volunteers need to make personal decisions that are in their best interest. We know this means that some Mercy Volunteers may wish to return home during this time. In light of the uncertainty of a return date, volunteers should take all of their belongings with them if they return home. It is our hope that this page can help answer some of your questions as you discern the best decision for you personally.
Why is Mercy Volunteer Corps remaining open?
Mercy Volunteer Corps feels strongly that we should follow the CDC’s guidelines to limit travel. Many volunteers would need to cross state borders to return home and at this time it is safer for both Mercy Volunteers and their family members for them to remain in their current cities.
We remain committed to serving the most marginalized members of our society during this time, and fully support all volunteers as they continue to provide education, health care, and social services. We are aware that vulnerable populations are in need of care and support now more than ever.
Has Mercy Volunteer Corps released any statements related to the Coronavirus?
On March 5th, Mercy Volunteer Corps sent out our first statement about the Coronavirus, also refered to as Covid-19. This statement was used to disseminate information from the CDC as well as ensure Mercy Volunteers that MVC was actively working to coordinate with service sites.
On March 16th, Mercy Volunteer Corps sent out a second statement with additional measures to protect Mercy Volunteers. These included an additional monetary stipend and a new community visitor policy among other measures.
Can Mercy Volunteers telecommute during this time?
We are working with every Mercy Volunteer to find the best, safest option for them to continue to serve during this time. Generally, those serving in education and social services placements have moved to telecommute options. Some social services placements have deemed Mercy Volunteer positions essential and we are working with these volunteers to discuss whether or not they are comfortable still providing in-person support at this time. Health care positions have almost all been deemed essential. For those who are certified medical professionals, for example Registered Nurses, we are not providing telecommute options. At this time, it is essential for medical professionals to continue to provide care at hospitals and clinics. Mercy Volunteer Corps provides professional placements, and as such is following professional standards for each volunteer placement.
Mercy Volunteers, if you are unsure if you are able to telecommute, please contact your Community Coordinator.
If a Mercy Volunteer goes home, can they return to their community?
At this time, if a Mercy Volunteer chooses to go home, they will not be able to return to their community house until the travel ban as recommended by the CDC is lifted. When the travel ban is lifted, please contact your Community Coordinator. This is to ensure the health and safety of those who remain in the community. Due to housing restrictions, we cannot at this time support the two week quarantine necessary after travel as recommended by the CDC without exposing other community members.
*If you have already returned home, please contact your Community Coordinator.
Are Mercy Volunteers living with volunteers who are not able to participate in social distancing?
While most of our Mercy Volunteers are telecommuting or at service sites who are enforcing social distancing, those in the health care field are not able to follow these guidelines. Like so many health care professionals, their workplace requires contact. Some Mercy Volunteer communities consist of health care professionals. We are asking these volunteer communities to be especially mindful of cleaning common household services and distancing from each other during this time.
Will Mercy Volunteer Corps hold Transition Retreat in June?
At this time, Mercy Volunteer Corps has refrained from purchasing airfare to Transition Retreat in Savannah, GA this June. We are committed to following all CDC recommendations for large gatherings. If the CDC extends the current ban on large gatherings through June, Mercy Volunteer Corps will cancel our in-person Transition Retreat and explore remote options. UPDATE: Mercy Volunteer Corps has cancelled our in-person Transition Retreat and will hold session virtually.
Will Mercy Volunteer Corps place volunteers to serve from August 2020 – July 2021?
At this time, Mercy Volunteer Corps has every intention of placing Mercy Volunteers in both the United States and South America for the 2020-2021 volunteer year. We are commited to our mission to serve the most marginalized members of our society, and know that volunteers are needed now more than ever.