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Medical students volunteer child care, other services to healthcare workers

Anyone who works in a hospital, from doctors to custodians to administration staff, can get assistance.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Gene Kim just wants to help.

"I think a lot of us went into healthcare, as corny and as cheesy as it may sound, with the innate want to help people," explains Kim, who studies medicine at Michigan State.

While healthcare students aren't able to be here on the front lines fighting COVID-19, they are finding other ways to join the fight.

When Jordan Griep heard about a group called Michigan COVIDSitters working in Detroit, he decided to give them a call.

"I said hey you guys, in Grand Rapids this is anticipated to peak sometime around the beginning of May," says Griep, leader of COVIDSitters new Grand Rapids branch. "Is there any way we can branch off and start this program on the west side of the state?"

The idea is that volunteers will provide basic needs for healthcare workers free of charge, from childcare to much more.

"Dog walking or cat sitting, if they need groceries," explains Claire Krohn, another of the Grand Rapids leads.

"You know, those small little things that when you've worked a really long shift and you come home you just might not have the time for it or the energy for it," adds Kim, who now volunteers with COVIDSitters.

And it isnt just for the doctors. Anyone who works in the hospital, from custodians to administration staff, can get assistance.

"If you are a part of the healthcare system and you are being affected by this pandemic right now," says Griep. "That's who we're trying to reach out to."

If you would like to apply for help, or to become a volunteer, click here.


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