• Anna Alferova

Supporting our Communities during COVID-19

There is no doubt that COVID-19 had a massive impact on our communities this past year. How did we rise to the occasion? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, let's give thanks to these amazing individuals who are supporting their communities in a time of crisis. Here are their stories.



Kim helps neighbors and front line workers


Unlike other coastal enclaves such as New York City, the Bay Area managed to dodge the worst of the pandemic's earliest wave in March. However, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was in short supply nationwide. To make matters worse, cases spiked in San Fransisco during the height of the wildfire season. Kim Perez and her Bay Area neighbors had to contend with increases in COVID-19 case counts during one of the worst wildfire hazes in recent memory. These circumstances did not deter Kim. In fact, they emboldened her to act.


“During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I taught myself how to sew (again!) to make masks and scrub caps for friends and family as well as front line workers,” shares Kim Perez, who is a Solutions Architect here at Cerna and works remotely out of the Bay Area. “My family has also been doing grocery runs for some of our elderly neighbors so that they can stay safely at home.”


Kristina supports local hospitals


Facing a Stay at Home Order in late March that would last two months, citizens of North Carolina experienced a sudden increase in free time. One of these residents is our very own Kristina Hartman. She and her husband decided to spend some of their newfound free time supporting local hospital workers with lifesaving PPE.


“I sewed masks for family and close friends, and my husband 3D printed face guards for local hospitals in need. He also coordinated several other friends in the area who own 3D printers and worked with a local race team that cut the clear plastic fronts. All of us, including the kids, also assembled the face guards," shares Kristina Hartman, who is a Senior Technical Consultant here at Cerna.


Rudy mentors small businesses


Even before the pandemic began, Rudy Woodward leveraged his passion for marketing to support local businesses. Now more than ever, many of these businesses are struggling.


“I’m a part of the national non-profit group SCORE, specializing in volunteering and providing mentoring services to small business owners and entrepreneurs for free. What I experienced during these past 6 months, was a lot of folks were starting online side hustles: Shopify shops, writing eBooks, etc. I helped guide folks on how to advertise on Facebook, revamp their web sites, create company names, and online personas. Lots of folks expressed that they wanted to take advantage of the downtime. It has been a very interesting journey!”

Thank you to Kim, Kristina, and Rudy for sharing their inspiring stories. Even during this challenging time, Cerna team members volunteer their valuable time and resources to help not only their neighborhood communities but also each other!


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