The Delaware County Citizen Corps will be honored as the 2020 Hometown Hero Champion of Adult Literacy at the Literacy Is Essential Telethon on October 21, 2020.
The Delaware County Citizen Corps exists to “improve the emergency preparedness, health, and safety of the residents of Delaware County.” Volunteers in the Corps train and practice so they are ready to support existing emergency workers in a “major emergency or disaster in or around Delaware County.”
When COVID-19 arrived in Delaware County in March 2020, it was not a drill. This was a true emergency.
The Citizen Corps responded to the challenge. In the months that followed, the Corps registered, vetted, and trained more than 700 new volunteers and worked with local officials to determine the best way to deploy them.
Edwin Kline is the Volunteer Management Coordinator in Delaware County’s Office of Emergency Management who heads the Citizen Corps. He is aided by a team of deputy and assistant coordinators.
Guided by this leadership, the Corps has staffed call centers in Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware County; unloaded, stocked, and packed food for local food banks; set up a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) for the Glen Mills medical surge center; operated a first responder refuge center; and assisted with COVID-19 testing sites held in a variety of locations, including Chester and Upper Darby. Medical professionals volunteering for the Corps have filled especially valuable roles, such as administering the COVID-19 nasopharyngeal swabbing test itself and collecting information at local nursing homes to determine their COVID-19 readiness and/or needs.
“It’s all about service and assisting the community,” says Kline. He highlights the importance of the Citizens Corps in underserved communities that “may have limited resources and increased needs” during an emergency.
The Corps celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. We congratulate the Delaware County Citizen Corps, its leadership, and its volunteers on their important work, and we are proud to honor the Corps as the 2020 Hometown Hero Champion of Adult Literacy.