Extension is known for facilitating local networks and having the capacity to organize and mobilize volunteers. These assets, critically important in crises and emergency situations, were drawn on to support Tennessee's response to health care worker and community needs early in the coronavirus pandemic. Using local networks, we rapidly activated a statewide volunteer workforce to address potential shortages of cloth face masks before federal agencies recommended their widespread public use. We share social media communication strategies and a timeline of key events and acknowledge challenges we encountered in moving forward in an environment of inconsistent and evolving guidelines. Our actions may be applicable to addressing ongoing community needs as the pandemic persists and new circumstances arise.
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Washburn, L. T., Martin, A., & Barnes, S. N. (2020). Activating Volunteers for Statewide COVID-19 Pandemic Response. The Journal of Extension, 58(4), Article 25. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.58.04.25