Y-Serve programs approved to reopen

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BYU student Patty Arreola reads a book to Jazmin Pena at the Boys & Girls Club in Provo in February 2019. The Boys and Girls Club is one of several Y-Serve programs that has reopened since the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Daily Universe)

Y-Serve programs are approved to reopen after being shut down for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The organization’s president, Miles Callahan, said Y-Serve has used the shutdown as a chance to reevaluate each program’s efficacy and safety. This process includes working with the BYU Department of Risk Management and Safety to come up with a checklist of safety measures each program must complete before restarting.

All programs are expected to be open by the start of the fall semester. Currently operating programs include blood drives, the Boys and Girls Club, BYU Village Mentors, Head Start, Marketing Team, Hospice, TURN Community Services, Share Your Hair and Red Cross Service. 

Y-Serve’s operations slowed in March 2020. Callahan said working with Y-Serve during the shutdown has been nothing like what he expected but has still been an amazing experience.

“It has been the most rewarding and the most frustrating time in my life,” Callahan said. “I met some amazing people and got to serve in ways I never imagined I would.”

Callahan said the pandemic redefined what it meant to serve at BYU as programs changed to meet safety precautions.

“From having online service webinars to having campus-wide service scavenger hunts it was great to see how students were willing to serve in what means they could,” Callahan said. “It was also frustrating to see so many people in need and not being able to help them like we used to, but it was also important to think of the health and safety of the volunteers and those whom we serve.”

Students can visit the Y-Serve website to find ways to serve.

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