Giving back in the midst of COVID-19

By George Davis

April 19, 2021 | min

COVID-19 has changed many things.  And many that volunteered regularly are now finding these opportunities few and far between. We’ve all been impacted by COVID, some more than others, and today, we’d like to share the bias for action of one employee of many who is helping to fight COVID-19.   

Based in the UK, Robert Kvedaras joined Nutanix in 2019 as an Enterprise Account Manager in the Financial Services Team. In our conversation, we talked about his volunteerism with St John Ambulance (SJA) in the time of the pandemic, and the profound experience he has had volunteering safely with other Nutants who are also passionate about this important cause. 

Tell us about St John Ambulance and why you decided to volunteer with them?

I have volunteered regularly with St John’s Ambulance since the lockdown. The group is widely recognized at concerts and sporting events, and does so much more. They are a volunteer-led first aid charity that responds to emergencies, supports communities, and saves lives.

What drew me to volunteer was the impact COVID has had on my family. My son is a medic and caught COVID twice. Young and strong, it hit him hard both times! Also, my mother lives in a care home treating her dementia. I haven’t been able to see her since January 2020, and her condition means we can’t do window visits any longer. So, if there is something I can do to help us get through the pandemic as safely and quickly as possible, I’m in!

Robert donning full protective gear for a SJA volunteer shift

How are you volunteering for SJA?

I volunteered as a National Health Service (NHS) Responder when the lockdown started. Thousands of us responded to requests for assistance from people in the community who needed it. At the end of 2020, I was invited to apply to be a vaccinator with SJA - they had been tasked with providing 30,000 volunteers across several roles to support the NHS in administering the vaccine. I signed up, was interviewed, screened, trained & approved to vaccinate.

What motivates you to stay involved? 

Seeing the impact first hand is very powerful. The people we have helped to vaccinate are so grateful. And, the bigger picture is that fewer people will die as a result of what we do. Plus, we’ll get back to some sense of normalcy much sooner. I know that not everyone will take the vaccine, so it is important that we vaccinate those willing as quickly as possible, while following the health guidelines and the science.”  

I’m proud to be a part of something that helps so many people.

Robert Kvedaras

What contribution or achievement are you most proud of?  

That’s a good question! My first day, making sure that ~350 people were assessed, advised, and presented to a vaccinator in one 8-hour shift was a proud moment. It's teamwork, and we’re a really good team. Being told that I made a difference is nice, and being told it dozens of times each day I work a shift is humbling, and I’m proud to be a part of something that helps so many people.

Who provides you the inspiration to be so closely involved?  

I mentioned my eldest son and mother earlier.This is one of the only ways I could figure out to help them the soonest. I know many people are in a similar situation. Also, my other children (my 11 year old daughter and 15 year old son) tell me how proud they are of me.”

Share an experience volunteering that moved you.

It is special being part of a diverse army of people who simply want to make a positive difference to the horrible impact COVID has had—there’s no material reward, yet we work so hard.  It's a profound experience.

Thank you to Robert for graciously sharing his volunteer experience with us. To learn more about our Nutanix .heart program visit our social impact page.

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