Structure in a Time of No Structure

In Cleveland, Anna Lowenstein (she/her), who had just finished a master’s degree in social work, had looked forward to leading a Birthright trip over the summer. Then all trips were canceled. As Anna watched all the other ways people’s lives were being disrupted by COVID-19, she said, “I wanted to do something to help, but I didn’t know how.”

Anna, 25, read about the Service Corps on a Facebook page for young Jewish leaders and signed up with her younger sister, Dorothy, 21. The two worked on projects that included teaching creative writing on Zoom to 4th to 10th-grade students, with a nonprofit called Lake Erie, Inc.

They also helped with a large project that asked Cleveland-area residents to send in photos, comics and writing for a single prompt: “One summer’s day….”

“We got dozens of responses which we posted on a store window in our town as a way to tackle social isolation,” Anna said.

The Service Corps was a “perfect fit” for the sisters, added Anna, 25. “It was structure during a time of no structure. I learned a lot about myself and how I want to be spending my time. The service lifted me up; I felt fulfilled and energized every single day.”

This article originally appeared on the Schusterman Foundation blog on October 14, 2020.
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