Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping their neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their community needs them the most. 

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

Louisville man feeding west end residents – one hot dog at a time by Joel Schipper. Everett Hunter, a Louisville resident, has been feeding homeless people and those in need for years through his non-profit organization, One Nation Riders. The grassroots group is made up of 50 members of different ages and backgrounds. One of its volunteers, Barry Tipton, is a retired Detroit police officer. Tipton commented on the group’s efforts throughout the west end of Louisville, “It’s all about giving back, helping those in need, because you never know what life might be for you tomorrow. I’m blessed to be here and be helping and be a part of the community of Louisville and bringing a great cause.”

Student-organized COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Colorado high school gives out over 800 shots by ABC News. A group of Colorado high school students and staff hosted a COVID-19 vaccine drive at Rangeview High School in Aurora, Colorado. The clinic provided over 800 vaccines to members of the community who are at least  16 years old. Governor Jared Polis attended the first clinic held on May 1 and live-streamed some of the event. Stephanie Walsh, a teacher at the high school and advisor of the Social Justice Club, which hosted the two clinics, commented, “Here in Colorado, we have a movement called ‘equity clinics’ for communities of color or [communities that are] underserved. So we fell under that umbrella, our school and our community. We just filled out an application and the ball just kept rolling from there.” 

Hartford hosts ‘Shots and Sneakers,’ providing free shoes for those experiencing homelessness after receiving their COVID-19 vaccine by Jessika Harkay. Several non-profits, companies, and government agencies have come together throughout Hartford, Connecticut, to deliver shoes to homeless people and provide them with a COVID-19 vaccine. The Hartford Police Department, the Connecticut Podiatric Medical Association Foundation’s Footwear with Care non-profit, the City of Hartford, and Hartford Healthcare, hosted the ‘Shots and Sneakers’ event, which provided 30 people with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and gave away 38 pairs of sneakers. However, one veteran police officer has been giving back to the community for years by providing shoes and meals for homeless people. Jimmy Barrett, who has been on the force for 19 years, commented, “A lot of people just need a little extra push in the right direction and you know, if they’re hungry, I’m going to feed them and I got to take care of them. If I say I’m going to do something, they’re going to see me follow through with it.”

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