Student-created Care Collective Pod mobilizes volunteers during COVID-19
by Gabrielle Largoza '20
Both of my parents are healthcare workers. I have not seen my father in four weeks because he has been traveling around the country, coordinating the production of makeshift COVID-19 hospitals. Inspired by their dedication and wanting to help the Trinity community in my own way, I pitched an idea to one of my professors. We sent an email out in an effort to gauge student interest in launching an initiative where we can help one another without leaving our homes. This email was sent during a period of reshuffling, when all Trinity students were quickly packing up their belongings and leaving campus. Despite the chaos of this time, I quickly heard back from five other people wanting to be part of this project, and the Tiger Care Collective Pod was born! Each member had their own reason for wanting to help, but our uniting factor is that we all answered this call. For that, I will always be grateful.
The Care Collective is a student-run initiative that works to meet the needs of those in our extended Trinity Family. Anyone can request aid, and we match them with a volunteer who has expressed their capacity and ability to help. People can submit aid requests for help with errands, tutoring, emotional support, and more.
The response has been incredible. As the word about our project began to spread, volunteers came pouring in. We now have over 50 volunteers from across the country and are running letter-writing and mask-making campaigns to mobilize this incredible volunteer base. The fact that Trinity’s response to a crisis is “How can I help?” is truly inspiring. I have begun to see people mention our Tiger Care Collective Pod on their social media pages and over Zoom. At first I thought the idea for the Care Collective was ambitious, but every time we reach out someone responds, offering to help, offering ideas, and offering connection. That’s Trinity for you.
Thank you to the TCCP team: Rohan Walawalkar, Isabela Carson, Aamuktha Karla, Rachel Poovathoor, Abigail DeNike.
Gabrielle Largoza is a senior from San Antonio who will work as a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.