Frontline Volunteers Honored For 15K Hours Of Service During Pandemic
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More than 100 frontline volunteers were honored Wednesday for their thousands of hours of service during the pandemic.
The volunteers are all students who put in a combined 15,000 hours of volunteer time. The Salt Lake County Health Department recognized them with a virtual awards banquet.
“I’m glad people are happy with what we’ve been doing,” said Seth Christensen, who was among the 100 students from across the state who have been serving the community around the clock by volunteering on the front lines of the pandemic.
A graduate from the Ameritech College of Healthcare, he was part of the Salt Lake County Medical Reserve Corps. The corps is a national network of local volunteer units that engage with communities to strengthen public health and preparedness.
Christensen said it was through his service to the Salt Lake community that he discovered his true passion.
“During my time there, I ended up finishing my nursing degree,” he said. “I would like to get into community health as a nurse, which I’ve started to do.”
On Wednesday, he and several other students received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Lt. Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate.
The total volunteer hours are equal to about $500,000 worth of time. Christensen volunteer a few hundred hours of that total.
“I was on their COVID testing team, their quarantine isolation team, I helped do their community education in regards to COVID – just did a little bit of everything,” he said.
What he discovered during his volunteering was the greatest reward of all.
“I was always compassionate and caring,” he said. “But when you really get down and meet these different populations, like face to face, such as, like, the homeless population, you really open your heart to that to see how real and hard their struggle actually is – especially during a pandemic.”
“If their life wasn’t hard already,” he noted, “add COVID to it.”
Christensen has already been hired by the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Medical Reserve Corps. He’ll be pursuing his bachelor’s degree next.
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