Vol. 54, No. 2

In this edition

The Ripon Society has long believed that America works best when Americans work together.  With a global pandemic paralyzing our country and the world, we decided to publish a Special Edition focused on those Americans who are doing just that.

On the Front Lines of the Fight

Neil Ehmig is a military veteran representing the next generation. Instead of going overseas, he’s fighting a battle blocks away from his home to try to keep his community safe.

A Critical Lifeline in a Time of Need

For the past two decades, Amazon and our workers have built an infrastructure to deliver goods quickly and reliably. We are proud of the role we play to ease the pain of this pandemic, serving as a lifeline for millions of consumers and small businesses.

Thank God for Truckers

Everything we need to fight COVID-19 is moved from Point A to Point B by a truck driver. Without truckers, grocery store shelves and hospital supply rooms would be empty. The result would be chaos. 

Training Displaced Workers is Key to Getting Americans Back to Work & Stimulating the Economy

By giving people a pathway to a job in the tech sector, we are helping fill an urgent need for trained and certified professionals.

A Shelter from the Storm

Shelter at home means one thing when you have a home. But what does it mean when you have no home, especially when you’re a young person on your own, unsure where to sleep, eat, or find refuge from the pandemic?

Partnerships are Key to Defeating COVID-19

We know that in order to re-open the country, testing is key. CVS Health is utilizing its expansive community presence to bring COVID-19 testing closer to home.

Doing Her Part

With wider-spread coronavirus testing needed in America, Jami Clark — a FedEx specialist and C-17 pilot with the Tennessee National Guard — took to the skies to pilot a joint overseas mission, transporting nearly one million test swabs from Italy.

To Beat this Crisis, We Need to Fight Hunger

No American should have to wonder where their next meal will come from, before, during or after a food crisis like this one. At Feeding America, this crisis has challenged our network to continue to provide nutritious meals.

The Food Industry Rewrites its Playbook on Crisis Response

It’s in times of emergency that we realize the true resiliency of our supply chain. Our industry has worked around the clock to replenish and restock shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the safety of its associates.

How GM is Mobilizing to Combat a Global Crisis

At General Motors and across the auto industry, generations of employees have been counted on to develop solutions during times of crisis. Today is no different.

Essential Changes Required During Times of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our country in ways we could have never imagined.  Since day one, The Home Depot has been committed to serving our community as an “essential” retailer.

Response to COVID-19 will Make Us All Stronger

Last month, Honda began building an entirely new product in our 40-year history of building things in America – diaphragm compressors for life-saving ventilators to help victims of COVID-19.

Bringing a Long History of Innovation to the Fight Against COVID-19

At Sanofi, the drive to transform the practice of medicine has taken on increased urgency for everyone in the Sanofi family since the global emergence of COVID-19.

Delivering Hope With Every Package

While the coronavirus continues to impact all facets of our everyday lives, one thing hasn’t changed at all: our customers are counting on us, and we’ll keep delivering for them.

Combating COVID-19 

How can the USO continue to be the Force Behind The Forces® of the five million active duty, Guard, Reserve and family members in the wake of COVID-19 when so much of the tempo of military life has changed?  Our answer, “Change with it.”

PhRMA Member Companies Tackle COVID-19 From All Angles

PhRMA members are working around the clock to research and develop new vaccines and treatments, as well as test existing medicines to help those infected with the virus.

In this edition

The Ripon Society has long believed that America works best when Americans work together.  And so with a global pandemic paralyzing our country and the world, we decided to publish a Special Edition of The Ripon Forum focused on those Americans who are doing just that.

Over the past month, we reached out to businesses and non-profit organizations that are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19.  We wanted to know more about the challenges they are facing as a result of the pandemic.  We also wanted to hear any first-hand accounts of how their employees and volunteers are overcoming these challenges to keep Americans safe and secure during this tenuous time.

The stories that we heard are truly inspiring.  From automakers retooling their production lines to make ventilators and personal protective equipment to drug manufacturers shifting their focus to finding a treatment and a cure to clerks and drivers working overtime to make sure our grocery shelves are full, the story of the past six weeks has been a story of Americans at their best.  

Americans like Neil Ehmig, a military veteran serving as a trauma nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois who picked up an extra overnight shift to help with the fight against COVID-19.  “When I walk into work,” Ehmig says, “I feel a sense of pride now more than ever.”  

Or take Sister Nancy Downing, the Executive Director of Covenant House in New York City.  To meet the new demands of the current crisis, she and her team recently converted their offices near the Lincoln Tunnel into bedrooms where they can provide care to sick children and youth in one of the hardest-hit parts of the nation.

Steven Richardson is another example of an American rising to the challenge.  A truck driver with Big G Express, he has switched from hauling Jack Daniel’s whiskey to another product for which there is an overwhelming demand these days — hand sanitizer.

Another American rising to the challenge is Jami Clark.  A FedEx Express Global Operations Control specialist, C-17 pilot, and member of the Tennessee Air National Guard, Jami took to the skies earlier this spring to pilot a joint overseas mission with the U.S. Armed Forces, transporting nearly one million test swabs from Italy in under 80 hours. 

And then there is Debbie Hollis.  A General Motors employee and member of the UAW Local in Indiana, Debbie is helping to build ventilators at the GM plant in Kokomo — a challenge she compares to World War II.  “I’m grateful that I get a chance to do my part and be a part of something,” she says.  “We are modern-day Rosie the Riveters.”

Of course, Debbie Hollis, Jami Clark, and the others mentioned above are not alone.  Across the country, tens of thousands of Americans are quietly rising to the challenge themselves — serving in the hospitals, driving the delivery trucks, working the production lines, volunteering at the local food banks, and performing and providing the countless other jobs and services that are helping us get by at a time when we need their help the most. For these individuals, working from home is not an option, and the risk of catching the coronavirus is a risk they live with and work with everyday.

At a time when the headlines are filled with bad news, these Americans are providing us with uplifting and inspirational stories that give all of us confidence that America and the world will see a better day.  For these Americans, we dedicate this Special Edition of The Ripon Forum.  And most of all, we give them our thanks.

Lou Zickar
Editor of The Ripon Forum