Today I volunteered for the first time with the Loudoun Medical Reserve Corps.
What is an MRC?
Your town or county almost certainly has one.
It’s a volunteer program where medical professionals and other, non-medically qualified people can register to volunteer.
MRC members will be called upon to do any number of things:
- Staff testing facilities for disease;
- Be present at small & large public events to help with health information;
- Man call center helplines to answer health questions;
- Provide logistical support to medical professionals in an emergency;
- And more.
I originally signed up for the MRC because I figured I could make calls for contact tracing from home.
A First Time for Everything
Today I participated in my first MRC volunteering activity, and I felt like the most useless, least qualified person there.
It was a door-to-door COVID-19 testing drive in an apartment complex. Earlier in the week, volunteers had put door hangers on all the apartment doors, and our job today was to make contact with residents who had indicated they wanted to be tested.
I was not qualified to administer the test, nor was I even qualified to handle the samples. I wasn’t even trained to be on the registration team, gathering people’s information before the test.
Most of the other volunteers were either experienced medical professionals or long-term volunteers who had way more training than I did.
I was on logistics: sweeping the buildings to identify which apartments had door hangers, restocking supplies when needed, and helping the testing teams move their kit to the different apartment buildings.
By the end, though it didn’t seem like I had done much, it felt like my hands had contributed to making light work.
More is Needed
Our local MRC will be called upon to continue staffing these pop-up testing sites.
Also, with early in-person voting starting on September 18th in Virginia, the elections board has asked the MRC to be present at testing sites to provide COVID-19 awareness guidance, ensure social distancing and provide hand sanitizer and face masks if necessary.
If you’re looking for ways to contribute in this time of crisis, this might be a good way.
Remember, you don’t have to be a medical professional (I’m certainly not!), and you can start off with a pretty basic level of training.
If you want to be able to do more jobs, you can always complete further training.
Planning to Return
As the MRC is called upon to help out, I will sign up whenever possible. Every little bit is helpful, and these groups need volunteers!
So please consider joining!