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Walden Magazine // Jul 20, 2020

Finding the Good in Troubling Times

While the nation locked down, Walden student Anna Slayton stood up and volunteered to help those in need.

Moments of crisis can lead to uplifting acts of good—especially when everyone does their part to support one another. For Walden University, this has meant holding true to our core mission of social change.

As the spread of COVID-19 pushed our nation into an uncertain new reality, the Walden community sought ways to help people in need and support the many workers confronting the crisis directly.

While no single group can solve all the problems created by the pandemic, we’re proud of the role our community has played—and continues to play. And we’re thankful to all the partner organizations who have joined us and who work so hard for the good of their communities, their countries, and the world.

Here is a small sampling of what our community and our partner organizations have been doing.

Volunteering on the Front Lines

Caption: Slayton and other volunteers made an immense difference.

When RN and Walden student Anna Slayton, Master of Science in Nursing (RN-MSN), saw the COVID-19 crisis mounting in New York City, she left her family in Texas to join the fight as a relief nurse. Assigned to a night shift at a skilled nursing facility, she used her experience, her grit, and what she’s learned in her MSN program to help care for the facility’s residents during the crisis. Anna’s courage and commitment to service makes her an exemplary member of the Walden community and represents everything we stand for.

Supporting the United Way of Greater Nashville

When the American Organization for Nursing Leadership had to cancel its March trade show, our nursing students, alumni, faculty, and partners lost the opportunity to connect—but Nashville lost a lot more. On the heels of a devastating tornado, COVID-19 closures left the city in serious need. We helped out with a $9,000 donation to the United Way of Greater Nashville, which is working hard to keep its city and people strong.

Delivering Backpacks of Food

With school canceled, students who rely on free or subsidized school meals struggled to get the nutrition they needed. Val Taylor, a Walden alumna and member of the Center for Social Change Advisory Council, spearheaded an effort to deliver backpacks full of food and hygiene products to Gwynns Falls Elementary School and Beechfield Elementary/Middle School students in Baltimore, Maryland.

Caring for Nurses

As a leading educator in the field of nursing, we’ve always had a deep respect for the work nurses do. We wanted to support as many of these first responders as we could during the crisis. To express our support and appreciation, we provided care packages to nursing staff at our partner hospitals across the U.S.

Helping Houston Children

The sudden unemployment of thousands in Houston, Texas, put a strain on the Houston Food Bank. In support of its tremendous efforts to keep its community fed, we donated $2,000 to the food bank’s Backpack Buddy program, which helps students who rely on free or reduced-price school lunches receive nutritious food over the weekends.

Reducing Anxiety in Families

In times of uncertainty, it’s natural to be stressed and anxious. We wanted to help kids and their caregivers work through those emotions in a healthy way, so we partnered with school districts in four states and the District of Columbia to provide students with copies of the book Paint a Double Rainbow. The book offers 40 mindfulness activities to help kids and their caregivers feel calm, focused, and happy.