The COVID-19 virus has resulted in most of us feeling displaced and at odds with the need to stay “socially distant.” It goes against human nature. However, even though our spring programs are canceled and our Used Book Sale is postponed, there are ways we can stay connected. In addition to emails and texts, there’s nothing quite like a good old- fashioned phone call. Pull out your branch Handbook/Directory and thumb through it with a plan to call some members you haven’t seen in awhile, or maybe a member who you haven’t met before! Membership VP Jennifer Karch has led the way of placing several friendly check-in calls each week.

Some of us have gone farther in our outreach. A quick drop-off of books to read, baked goodies, ice cream from Meyer Dairy, and a gift of a homemade mask are among the many acts of kindness we’ve been the recipients of or initiated during this pandemic.

AAUW State College members Talat Azhar and Star Campbell have responded to the plight of several Penn State Humphrey Fellows who have essentially been stranded here until they can return to their countries. The Fellows do not have accessible transportation, so Talat and Star have repeatedly stepped in to shop for them and help out where possible. It feels good to help neighbors in need.