LEESBURG, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Virginia is putting out a new call for thousands of volunteers to help with coronavirus demands.
Governor Ralph Northam wants to grow Virginia’s Medical Reserve Corps to 30,000. So far the state has only about half of that, though thousands have already stepped up.
Medical experience isn’t needed to join and there’s a range in what volunteers are doing across the state.
“Some reserve corps are helping with testing, some reserve corps are helping with fit testing for N95 masks,” said Francis Rath, Loudoun Co. Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator.
Others are helping in some of the direst situations across the state —assisting in nursing homes and medical centers.
“It’s not a question necessarily of trying to be big, bold, brave, take unnecessary risks. Certainly not for me,” said Lisa Kimball, a longtime volunteer. “It’s a question of—somebody needs help and how can I help them. And if I’m blessed to be healthy enough and have the knowledge and equipment to be able to take part in that, it’s an honor to be able to do it.”
Kimball said she’s ready to go wherever she’s needed. So far, she’s been answering phones in a Leesburg call center from those with questions.
“The majority of them are people who are understandably very nervous and also very lonely,” said Kimball.
Charlene Rice is also volunteering in the call center. Before this, she was working for the Department of Defense.
“Especially during this COVID experience, I feel that my resources are better used here,” said Rice. “One thing we learned in the military is to keep people calm and treat people nicely.”
While thousands have answered the call in Virginia, the state is hoping for about 15,000 more volunteers.