Look for the Helpers: Part 2

Mr. Rogers once said that during times of crisis, his mother used to tell him to “look for the helpers.” No matter how bad the situation, “You will always find people who are helping.” Here are some examples of B&F teams who are going above and beyond to help the U-M community. 


Photograph courtesy of Joe Braun Photography, March 2020 

University Human Resources debuted a new wellness campaign that helps remind us that we’re all connected during these unprecedented circumstances: We Are All in This Together. This visual campaign makes use of the Model of Well-Being to help remind us to take care of each other and ourselves on every level. They are currently using the ad on campus digital signs and on the UHR social media sites.


To help support our colleagues in U-M’s hospitals and health centers who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, B&F teams helped provide much-needed supplies. F&O’s Maintenance and EHS teams, in collaboration with UHR, donated more than 80,000 surgical masks from their emergency supplies to Michigan Medicine. UHR teams also donated 3,000 exam gloves and 135 boxes of sanitizer. To learn how you can help, please check out this Michigan Medicine blog and consider donating blood through the Red Cross.


The 120 UHR-Children’s Centers staff are keeping extremely busy. Many staff are continuing to provide in-person care to children of Michigan Medicine families– allowing our healthcare workers to continue to provide crucial patient care. The approximately 45 children who are still attending are taught in very small groups, with careful attention to sanitation and safety protocols designated for childcare settings. They’re also trying to keep daily routines as consistent as possible and are increasing play time outside. Additionally, the Work/Life Resource Center staff ramped up support for in-home child care through the Family Helpers program.

To support the continued education and engagement of children who typically attend the Children’s Centers but are now at home with their families, the teachers have innovated many methods of connection. They are sending recordings of books and songs (see a cute example here), sharing activity ideas with parents such as a weekly interactive “Show and Share” or a planting project for families to take part in together. Many classes are holding Zoom meetings and one class is doing a daily “gathering time” like they typically would do at school! 

Many families have been sending in messages of appreciation to the Children Center’s staff in recognition of the thoughtful care provided to their children. Check out the video below for some adorable examples!

We recommend clicking on “full screen” when watching the video!


F&O’s Environment, Health & Safety team has been providing invaluable assistance to the U-M community during this COVID-19 pandemic. They have been fielding concerns from staff about risk exposure within their workspaces, have created a mechanism to triage and assist our U-M community with their questions, and are offering guidance to Custodial Services cleaning teams. They are also working with the Washtenaw County Health Department to assist with notification of positive cases.

In addition, EHS has been busy ensuring proper collection and disposal of hazardous waste from research laboratories that have ramped down, and are conducting safety walkthroughs of all university research spaces. 

EHS staff are collaborating with the F&O Maintenance-HVAC, Maintenance-Electrical Shop, and LTP-Moving & Trucking teams to scale up lab spaces that will be designated for COVID-19 research to ensure that the research can be performed safely.  Additionally, they have created a COVID-19 Resource page to keep the university community informed, and have issued a guide for creating comfortable and ergonomically sound workstations at home for the many U-M staff, students, and faculty now working remotely.


If you notice a team or team member who is going out of their way to help, please email the details to BrightSpots@umich.edu!