Volunteering Amidst A Pandemic

May 7, 2020

By Mimi Williams


We may be in the midst of a pandemic, but the need for help doesn’t stop. Luckily, many members of our community have begun stepping up to answer the call. Jana Wallis, a data analyst in San Diego, couldn’t just sit at home while her neighbors were in need.

Jana volunteered at The Salvation Army Centre City food pantry, helping to distribute food, blankets and other necessities to individuals and families, many of which have been impacted by COVID-19. “I felt as a healthy able bodied person who is very fortunate to have a stable job, that I should be able to do more.” Prepared with a mask and gloves, Jana helped to distribute more than 200 meals during her 4 hour shift.

Many people during this outbreak have lost their means of income and find themselves facing the harsh realities of the current economic state. Although some people are no stranger to The Salvation Army’s Food Pantries, others may be relying on the organization for the first time. “We’re getting all types of people. People that I would consider veterans that know the system and know this is a place they can get food and other supplies. We’re also definitely seeing people that have never been here who are seeking additional support whether it’s specifically because of COVID-19 or because there are other things going on in their lives.”

The need for volunteers is greater than ever due to the demands of the community. Thanks to people like Jana, we are reminded that we are not alone in this crisis.

She mentioned “I’m doing my best to give a smile behind the mask with that famous Tyra Banks “Smize” and just greeting them and speaking to them on their level as much as I can and you know, giving them something extra.”


Jana Wallis is featured alongside fellow volunteer Jan-Paolo Rosal in this video showcasing the importance volunteering has on the community.  



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