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.

Littleton teachers making intubation boxes to help Colorado health care workers by Micheal Abeyta. As schools throughout Colorado closed last May, teachers from several schools in Littleton School District used their skills to help healthcare workers in the region. Teachers Marc Finer, David McMullen, and Kent Allison came together to create intubation boxes that go over patients’ heads and protect the healthcare workers providing care. Finer commented, “So the box goes over the patient while they’re in the bed and it encapsulates their head right up to the shoulders and then the doctor can reach in behind the patient’s head through some holes that are in the intubation box and use the tools to get the patient intubated.” The boxes have been donated to local hospitals. Speaking to how thankful healthcare workers have been, Finer continued, “You can see it in their eyes that they are very excited to get these and they are thankful.”

Atlanta police officer uses hazard pay bonus to help students by Fox 5 Atlanta. An Atlanta police officer, Keith Backmon, went above and beyond to help four families in his community by purchasing Amazon Fire tablets with his hazard bonus. As students moved to remote learning, many struggled with staying digitally connected. Backmon gave each family $30 to help pay for setting up an internet connection along with the tablets. Backmon commented on his donation, “As a public servant, it’s my job to give back to the community.”

Jacksonville teacher turns spare dough from pizzeria into lifeline for students by Garrett Pelican. Jodi Sands, a teacher at Atlantic Coast High School, turned her second job at a pizzeria into a fundraiser for students in need during the pandemic. Sands, who typically earns around $100 in tips every Saturday, started by donating some of her earnings directly to students, then she started a fundraiser that raised hundreds of dollars for students through GoFundMe. Working with a social worker to identify students in need, she raised $750 by June of last year. Sands commented, “We’re going to change these kids’ lives, one life at a time.”

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