Responding to the COVID-19 outbreak that has changed the service landscape and altered everyday life for millions around the world, Yale Day of Service will move forward in 2020 with the same mission but in a different capacity and with a broader focus.
May 9 will remain part of the annual celebration of service for the Yale community. But the Yale Alumni Association and the Day of Service co-chairs are encouraging organizers to convert projects to virtual spaces where possible, with in-person service events being delayed until it is deemed safe and prudent to hold them.
A list of virtual projects is now available on yaledayofservice.org.
“As the confirmed cases of COVID-19 explode and much of the world has gone into some form of lock down, two things have become clear: One, our traditional focus on a day of service on or around May 9 is no longer realistic. And two, there is a greater need for service in its many manifestations than ever before,” said Day of Service co-chairs Paul Broholm '78 and Betsy Sullivan '74, '76 MA.
“We are not canceling Yale Day of Service, but we recognize that most of us will not be able to join together for some time. Many events can be postponed, others may require cancellation. Regardless, we are calling on the full Yale community to take the opportunity to serve in whatever capacity you can, at any point and in any way that you feel safe doing so.”
This season of uncertainty will instead result in a Year of Service, with an emphasis on the notion that any day can be a Yale Day of Service. To energize that pivot, the YAA is planning a digital gathering on May 9 for the global service community, with details still being finalized.
“The desire and willingness to serve has always been a hallmark of Yale and an indelible part of our alumni experience,” said Weili Cheng ’77, executive director of the YAA. “COVID-19 poses unprecedented challenges for local communities around the world, one that we can now meet through Day of Service projects large and small, online and, eventually, on the ground. Thank you to everyone who is stepping up to make a difference – your impact is both remarkable and profound.”