Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping 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.

After COVID test giveaway, Greenwich looks to get kits to seniors who don’t drive or can’t get to sites by Robert Marchant. Public employees from the town of Greenwich, Connecticut, have been distributing thousands of free at-home COVID tests and hundreds of N95 masks to residents at a drive-thru location. The Glenville Fire Company and Greenwich police officers worked with volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team to distribute the free supplies as COVID cases have spiked across the country. According to Greenwich police, they are now turning to help out seniors “who are unable to drive or have difficulties with getting to distribution sites.” 

Dozens of life-saving miracles in a year of record number of organ transplants by Jed Boal. In Murray, Utah, Intermountain Healthcare saved 300 lives and performed 5,000 adult organ transplants in 2021. Jesse Davis, a sixth-grade teacher who has suffered from liver disease for more than a decade, was one of those recipients. What’s more, one of her fellow teachers, Shawna Blamires, was the donor. After finding out she was a match, Blamires underwent an operation to donate a portion of her liver to save her friend. “A lot of pain, a lot of emotions, a lot of tears,” Blamires said. “But, even in those worst moments, just knowing that she was going to be healthy and happy, to be able to raise her daughter and live her life, it was totally worth it, totally worth it.”

Savannah high school student creates mentorship program by Bianca Moorman. School staff, counselors, and teachers are always there to help their students. At the beginning of 2020, a high school student in Savannah, Georgia, created an organization called Students Helping Students Succeed (SHSS) to assist students struggling academically during the pandemic and to help teachers close the learning gaps caused by COVID-19. Since then, her organization has grown to 32 student volunteers in nine different high schools throughout the area.  The student credits her school counselor and Stacey Jennings, the communications director for the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, with helping her get started. With their help, she could get in touch with counselors from other schools to get the word out about SHSS. “I thought COVID is only going to accelerate the problem…it seems like there needs to be something else,” the student said. “From there, I had the idea in like how I can help students in a way that not only is just educational, but build their character.”

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