Keep your community safe!
As the world mobilizes to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ethnic Health Institute's highest priority is to support SMU students, staff, and faculty to stay safe and healthy.

EHI's monthly Volunteer Digest was developed as a resource to connect SMU members interested in community engagement. Now, more than ever, support is needed in our respective communities.

This is a difficult time for everyone. The constant influx of information and uncertainty can understandably trigger negative thoughts and feelings. We encourage you now more than ever, to practice self-care and channel any stress, anxiety, and fears into positive and productive actions. As you're able, take this time to read that book you've been neglecting, catch up on that blockbuster space movie trilogy, explore a new hobby, try new recipes, or de-clutter around your home.

Stay indoors, stay connected, and help keep your
community safe and healthy!
Community Resources
Though necessary, the "Shelter-in-Place" public health order, can bring serious implications to our communities, such as financial hardship and food insecurity. At the same time, social isolation can take a toll on emotional and mental health. You are not alone
here are just a few of many resources available from SMU and surrounding community organizations.

SMU Resources:

  • Virtual Wellness Classes are underway. Stay tuned for a weekly list of classes emailed every Monday from BeWell SMU. For information on participating or teaching a class email

Community Resources:

Community Response:
COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities
A silver lining in this global public health crisis has been a rise in individuals looking to step up and support communities. We cannot stress enough the importance of social distancing as major service to community and over all public health. However, for those feeling called to support community partners in urgent need of volunteers, please see the opportunities below:

  • Days of Girls' Masks4Millions Campaign, involves volunteers sew masks for healthcare workers. This organization also sews reusable menstrual kits for girls and women in developing nations. For more information visit their website.


  • Shanti Project seeks volunteers to help gather and deliver vital supplies and food to high risk community members. Learn more here.
SF Peninsula
  • The City of San Mateo has identified COVID-19 specific volunteer opportunities. For more information visit their website.

  • The First United Church of Loomis in Placer County is accepting packaged foods for its food closet that serves any families in need in the South Placer County area. To donate please contact the church office at (916) 652-0469 for drop off information.

  • Clothes and other donations are being accepted for homeless people at the Poverello House . Call (559) 498-6988 for information and visit the website for more information.
Tips to thrive during quarantine
As our SMU community transitions to working remotely, Sheltering-in-Place, and practicing social distancing, the EHI team shares how they're incorporating self-care in their daily routine.
Arlene Swinderman

"Meditation to begin and end each day, staying connected and video-chatting with loved ones, cooking for my now-full house, and intermittent doses of fresh air and vitamin D are doing the job so far!"

Edith Hernandez
Program Coordinator

"I listen to NPR Tiny Desk Concerts while I work and have discovered lots of great artists through it! I also make an effort to cook something nice for myself most nights, my favorites I've made are vegetable curry, spring rolls, pizza, and flour tortillas from scratch."
Gin Hansson
Program Coordinator

"Getting out and walking at a safe distance from others helps my husband and I get through sheltering in place."  
Leslie Brown-Thornton
Program Coordinator
(currently on maternity leave)

" Life is never a dull moment in the Thornton house while in quarantine. We have been spending time working on virtual school, making craft projects, putting together puzzles, building forts in the family room and having family dance parties." 
Census 2020
Make sure you are counted!
While you practice social distancing keep an eye out for an official letter from the United State Census Bureau. For the first time in Census history, this letter offers the option to respond online with a personal code.

If you've received this letter twice, this is a reminder to complete your questionnaire.

Why is the Census important?

The Census gives us data about our community, informs the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding, and determines the number of decision-makers representing us. Alameda County gets billions of dollars from the federal government for essential services based solely on the census count. However, nearly 26% of Alameda County residents are considered “Hard-to-Count” and face barriers to Census completion. College students are part of the “Hard-to-Count” category and are unaware they should be counted in the county they currently live in.
An undercount means fewer resources for everyone - for every person not counted, our community loses $10,000 over the next 10 years.

For more information contact Gin Hansson,
Participation in these events is entirely voluntary with no obligation to attend/participate. As these are voluntary, non-work events, attendance/participation is not considered work and will not be paid time.
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