One by one, people began popping onto the screen.

   A city council member.

   A stay-at-home mom.

   A pastor, an IT professional, a business owner.

   Pretty soon, the screen was crammed full of faces.

   “It’s like the Brady Bunch,” one Riponite cracked.

   Everyone laughed -- even as they realized that why they were there was serious business.

   Roughly two dozen Riponites came together via a video call last week Thursday evening to find ways to support the community during what is becoming an increasingly difficult time.

   With schools closed, businesses shutting down and some communities being forced to shelter in place indefinitely, no one is certain what will come next.

   But these community leaders want to be the ones to ensure everyone comes through it safely. Together, they’re forming Ripon’s first COVID-19 community response team.

   The concept began when community volunteer Kat Griffith learned of a list of volunteers Ripon College Director of Sustainability Alice Reznikova had begun to curate.

   “Alice had a great idea,” Griffith said, noting she wanted to take the concept a step further by bringing the community together. “I decided to take a walk around town to see what kind of coordination there was.”

   Step by step, she met with community leaders from City Hall, through downtown, at the school district and beyond.

   “It was clear to me after all that that there was no real collaboration going on, but that there was need and some willingness,” Griffith said.

   She decided to be the catalyst to bring those willing parties together.

Read the full story in the March 26, 2020 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.