Pre-pandemic, members of St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ were big volunteers. They liked to go out into the community, cooking and serving meals at shelters and tutoring local children in and out of school. But, during the height of the state’s COVID-19 pandemic, in-person volunteer activities were severely limited, leaving many would-be volunteers in the 175-member church frustrated.

It was a historic time of darkness, and many members desperately wanted to bring light to others’ lives. But they couldn’t.

Jason Mitchell, a member of the church’s Board of Mission and Witness, a member-led group that initiates outreach activities, said that the COVID safety restrictions and his fellow members’ increased interest in helping others were bumping up against each other.

“There was a desire to do as much good as…

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