During the COVID-19 pandemic, public employees across the nation have given back to their communities in extraordinary ways. From donating to food banks to helping their neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have been on the front lines.  

Here are stories of public employees in service to their communities.

Two-time cancer survivor from Waterford recognized for helping others by Sharon Longman. Sigrid Grace, a retired teacher from Waterford, Michigan, has dedicated her entire life to service. From educating Michigan’s youth to volunteering her time in countless capacities, she is finally being recognized for her service. The Lydia Barnes Potter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has awarded Grace the Chapter’s 2020 Community Service Award. Among other volunteer activities during the pandemic, Longman reports that Grace helped with Eagle Scout projects, visited seniors, registered voters, and has been taking her dog to assist her while teaching reading to pre-kindergarteners, second graders, and special education students. Grace is a true example of how public employees continue their service even in retirement. 

La Crosse County employee delays retirement to help house the homeless during COVID-19 by Emily Pyrek. In April, as the coronavirus began to sweep across the nation, Julie Nuttleman, a former social worker and now a quality assurance supervisor delayed her retirement to help those in need. According to Pyrek, Nuttleman has been working to staff the Warming Center, which she helped create, and the Salvation Army. The Warming Center was established to provide shelter to those who are homeless or struggling with addiction or mental health issues. Nuttleman commented on postponing her retirement, “That’s just me — I will fill in if I see a gap. I have a passion and I’ve been treated well by La Crosse County for 31 years.”

Former police officer provides free grocery delivery service for seniors by Krista Garrison. In March, retired police officer Stephen Stephano created a service to pick up groceries for seniors over the age of 60 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Stephano is the owner of Signal 88 Security, which offers personal and mobile security. Garrison reports that through his company, Stephano will send a driver to seniors’ home to retrieve their grocery list, the employee will shop for them and then return with the groceries and receipt. If you live in Bowling Green, you can volunteer or request the shopping service by calling 270-201-0541.

Lastly, for all of our readers out there with young children, Hasbro games created a new version of Guess Who? called Guess Who? Hometown Helpers. The game features characters such as firefighters, teachers, nurses, and mail carriers. According to Maddie Michalik of The Toy Book, Hasbro will be donating $10 from each game sale to No Kid Hungry, an organization dedicated to ending child hunger in the U.S., through March 31st. 

Be sure to check back next week for more stories of public employees giving back to their communities!