FUM General Secretary Kelly Kellum was recently invited to be a founding member of the Covid-19 Community Corps, in company with other community, business, and faith leaders. The Corps is an initiative of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to fight against Covid-19, to increase confidence in Covid-19 vaccines, and to encourage measures to slow the spread of the disease. The inaugural meeting was held on April 1, after which Kelly wrote to staff members: “While I spend hours and hours in virtual meetings these days, it’s not every meeting that my Zoom profile is sandwiched between that of the Vice President and the Surgeon General of the United States.”
“It is an honor to be invited, on behalf of FUM, to participate in this collaborative effort. I joined the Community Corps because I observe how Covid has disrupted the FUM community in so many ways: Friends gatherings canceled; plans for traveling in the ministry abandoned; churches and Meetings finding alternative ways to worship and care for members; schools pressured to develop alternative ways to educate students; and members of retirement communities forced into quarantine. The effects of the Covid pandemic are significant, and Friends are not immune from the collective anxiety, loneliness, economic distress, and incredible grief that are being experienced across the globe. Members of the FUM community are among the 141 million people who have tested positive for Covid-19, and the three million who have passed away from the Covid-19 virus. For us, these are more than mere statistics. They represent our Friends.
“While I certainly believe in the power of prayer, I also respect the collective wisdom of scientists and medical providers. We can find a path out of the Covid-19 pandemic if every Friend takes responsibility and does the simple things one can do to lessen the spread of the virus—like wearing masks, washing your hands, and practicing social distancing. AND, when made available in your country or region, and if advised by your physician, get the vaccine. While the Community Corps is focused on mitigating efforts in the United States, participating in this effort allows FUM to advocate for those living in parts of the world who do not have access to vaccine programs because of poverty or political isolation.”
Friends are invited to join the COVID-19 Community Corps. Visit www.wecandothis.hhs.gov or search #WeCanDoThis to learn more about this important campaign.