A Knight’s Tale: Public Servant
We know Knights are generous and actively support their local communities and UCF, so in support of #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day to celebrate the creative ways humankind has been helping each other during the pandemic, we asked the Knights community to share positive stories of themselves or other Knights and how they’re exemplifying community service during the global pandemic. And Knight Nation delivered!
Here is the story of alumna Raven Sansbury ’19:
During these tough times, we may not have been prepared in every way we could for the situations that have resulted from COVID-19. However, the lessons that have come from these times is the need for public service and the collective acts of love, patience, and hope.
As a 2018 UCF Legislative Scholar, May 2019 UCF graduate, and now—a Legislative Aide to Member in the FL House of Representatives, a lot of my values are placed on the highest forms of constituent advocacy, and community and public service. So, when COVID-19 started to kick up, so did my efforts and those around me:
I quickly became startled at the millions of people out of work nationwide, and the hundreds of thousands of Floridians out of work. Before COVID-19, and now more than ever, I always make sure that these parents, families, and students know that I am here to follow their issue all the way through to a hopeful end.
One of the best forms of community service that I’ve shown during this time is providing better access to reemployment benefits applications and spending a great amount of time responding to a large number of constituent calls and emails. I’ve printed out hundreds of reemployment applications (the stack of papers in the photo) and personally dropped them off to a church in Tampa FL, shared them among friends, family, and those in the community. I don’t count these hours. But if I were to count them, I would equate them to: “IT IS WORTH IT.” It is worth hearing our constituents report that their issues were consolidated or that they were finally able to receive more information to better navigate with their issues during this time. As I continue to direct those in need to the right resources, I remember:
Community service isn’t restricted on a Monday through Friday schedule. It goes into the weekend when you learn, there are people out there who do not have the resources to feed their families and the feeling you get when a constituent calls in tears feeling like their back is against the wall. I’m responding to these calls and emails around the clock, because it’s not about the amount of hours spent, but it’s about the reminders from each constituent that I’ve helped, of the reasons why I become invested in the field of public service and politics—It is always the small gestures that make the biggest difference in someone else’s world.
I am proud to be a public servant who serves on the front lines and who tries to shed light into someone else’s life, family, and situation….one by one….#ForeverAKnight #ForeverACommunityServant“
While we are inspired by these generous acts of kindness shared with us, we hope it inspires you make a positive change in the lives of others. You can show your generosity in a variety of ways during #GivingTuesdayNow, whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill or giving to causes. Every act of compassions counts.
If you feel compelled to support the UCF community during this time, there are various ways to get involved:
- Make a gift to support student scholarships or faculty research
- Write a note of appreciation to a Knight Nurse
- Attend a virtual event
- Sign up to be a volunteer with UCF Alumni
- Donate non-perishables to the Knights Helping Knights Pantry (Pantries located on the main campus, Rosen campus and Medical City).