Stories of Service


By: Shayla Thiel Stern


True North AmeriCorps Members Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis in Duluth

Emergency kits
(Above) True North members helped gather and distribute school supplies for kids to support their distance learning.

Last week, True North AmeriCorps members in Duluth switched from serving in schools, community centers and beyond to responding to the needs of families and organizations that have risen from the Cornovirus outbreak.

(Photo above: True North AmeriCorps members across Duluth have stepped up to support emergency childcare efforts. Allison Ternes, a licensed teacher, helps lead a painting activity.)

Members reported for duty at public and charter schools where many previously served to help care for children with parents and guardians who are healthcare workers and other essential employees and who do not have other alternatives. The 6:30 to 6 p.m. shifts were shared among members, and this service will go on as long as it is needed, according to Alice Jacobson, program manager for True North AmeriCorps. Members also distributed dinners to kids and families and helped create and distribute distance learning kits for students who will be working from home for the next several weeks.

(Photo above: True North AmeriCorps Member Rian Coleman and Site Supervisor Ashley Grimm from the Damiano Center’s Kids Kitchen pass out dinners to kids and families in Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood.)

Mikayla Karels, site coordinator at Lakewood KEY Zone in Duluth, said parents and kids were grateful for the members stepping up in a time of great need.

“These members have been working hard and stepping up to help in these unknown times. The site coordinators and youth appreciate the support of True North AmeriCorps more than we can say,” Karels said.

True North AmeriCorps members enhance the future success of children who need academic help with tutoring, mentoring and after-school programs. Children who are served also collaborate with members on service-learning projects in the community. Members are placed in both community-based and school-based organizations throughout the Duluth and Proctor area. Learn more at True North AmeriCorps.

Related Articles