In 2021, More than 4,200 People Joined COVID Survivors for Change’s Virtual Support Groups and Healing Workshops; More than 1,200 Joined Offline Events to Support Survivors
In 2022, COVID Survivors Call on Lawmakers to Take Action at the State Level to Expand Access to Healthcare, Provide Financial Support for Families and Particularly Children who Lost Parents or Caretakers, and Strengthen Response Plans to Stop Future Pandemics
NEW YORK – In 2021, COVID Survivors for Change volunteers and advocates spent hours mobilizing, training, and supporting survivors of COVID, while working to honor those killed over the course of the pandemic. COVID Survivors for Change’s membership doubled in size in 2021, speaking to the heartbreak communities continue to experience, as well as survivors’ need to connect with one another and heal.
“As COVID continues to spread, our hearts swell with grief for the survivors joining our community and with outrage at how much of this heartbreak was preventable,” said Chris Kocher, executive director of COVID Survivors for Change. “In 2021, COVID survivors channeled their trauma into activism, mobilizing to demand more of their lawmakers in DC. In 2022, we’ll continue that work and also take our movement to the states, urging lawmakers at every level to do everything in their power to support survivors and make sure that pandemics like this can never happen again.”
Over the last year, COVID Survivors for Change has:
- Provided more than 2,100 hours of free support for COVID survivors from mental health practitioners, with an average of more than 40 survivors attending weekly support groups
- Supported more than 4,200 survivors with healing workshops and educational resources
- Organized 34 marches and offline events with Yellow Heart Memorial, Faces of Covid Victims, and nearly 20 other partner groups to support COVID survivors, with more than 1,200 attendees
- Trained nearly 700 COVID survivors on skills tied to effective activism, with more than 500 reaching out to their lawmakers to demand support for survivors and pandemic prevention policies
“For months after COVID nearly took my life, I felt like I was watching a tsunami in slow motion – like I could see the damage coming, but do nothing to stop others from experiencing the horror I’d lived through,” said Jennifer Johnson an Illinois-based member of COVID Survivors for Change who still lives with lingering symptoms long after her initial diagnosis. “When I found the COVID Survivors for Change community, I learned how my story and skill set could help others whose lives have been forever changed by the pandemic. There’s still so much more we must do, but I now know that our experiences matter and survivors can channel our pain into lasting change.”
In the next year, COVID Survivors for Change will continue to advocate, support, and work to prevent another pandemic disaster. The organization will continue its work to memorialize and remember the more than 800,000 people killed by COVID and honor the more than 50 million who have survived COVID, too. COVID Survivors for Change will expand upon its advocacy work in 2022 to urge state lawmakers to do more to support survivors. Medicaid expansion, COVID protection plans in schools, scholarships for children who lost parents or caregivers to COVID, and training for medical professionals to understand the complexities of long COVID are just a few of the demands from survivors. Across the nation, the needs of survivors vary, but their dedication towards building a better future remains the same.
ABOUT COVID SURVIVORS FOR CHANGE
COVID Survivors for Change is a nationwide community of survivors fighting for a stronger pandemic response to save lives. We advocate for more support for COVID survivors, demand public health measures to prevent future pandemics, and honor those who died or whose lives have been changed forever because of COVID. We do this by offering trauma-informed resources and programs, sharing and amplifying survivor stories, and taking action to impact legislative and cultural change. Learn more: https://covidsurvivorsforchange.org/ Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/covidsurvivorsforchange or on Twitter at @SurvivorsChange.