We want to send our best wishes to you and your loved ones. Above all, we hope you are able to do everything you can to stay safe and healthy. As we are spending more time at home, we wanted to offer some ideas for virtual volunteering. Finding ways to harness the enthusiasm, energy and ideas of teenagers will help us all get through social distancing. Therefore being flexible and creative at this time will allow students and children to find a cause to support but also ensure they are engaged and while completing any service hour needs.
Supply Pick Up/Assistance Group
In short we are just the touch of button away from connecting with people in your neighborhood and across the globe. Interested in helping those who at most risk pick-up groceries, supplies or whatever they may need. Current Helper Helper uses can add opportunities for people to make supply runs for those in need. Sharing this option via Nextdoor and Facebook will work great to find people to assist but we mustn’t forget our direct neighbors. Some of whom may not be technologically savvy but would benefit greatly from a helping hand.
God’s Love We Deliver
A nonsectarian organization that prepares and delivers “nutritious and medically tailored meals” to people living with illnesses, is looking for both volunteers as well as donations to sponsor their emergency meal bags of “shelf-stable food” to their clients.
Volunteer with Best Buddies and help us end the social, physical, and economic isolation of 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Meals on Wheels
At the core of the Meals on Wheels service is a nutritious meal, companionship and a watchful eye on the health and safety of our seniors. For those who have trouble getting around, we bring the service to you. Let’s see you put that newly acquired driver’s license to work in service of others.
Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with one main goal: to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call. In other words one of the easiest virtual volunteering opportunities around.
Make a Sign
Similarly, whether you are at march, running a marathon or practicing social distancing it always helps to see at sign. Grab some supplies and make some signs to help promote COVID-19 awareness. Because upgrading a few old pizza boxes with a friendly reminder can go a long way to ensure we are all doing our part.
Right now, American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma. The Red Cross is urging healthy donors to donate blood to help maintain a sufficient supply for those in need.
Care for Nature
Clean up outdoor spaces, lead nature outings, or lend your voice to environmental campaigns. Explore the youth-specific Sierra Student Coalition that empowers teens and young adults virtual volunteering for climate justice.
Foster a Pet
Certainly reach out to your local animal shelters. All across the country organizations are asking people to consider becoming pet fosters as some shelters are having to close as employees and volunteers get sick or need to self-quarantine. “The less animals we have in house, the more we can reduce our kennel staff workforce, which reduces exposure,” Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia wrote in a Facebook post about their closure. “The goal here is to keep our human and pet populations safe.”
Virtual Volunteering – Be Smart, Be Safe
In conclusion we are always looking for ways to make it easier for people to engage in their community. In our current reality we need to Look for opportunities that are limited in size. Organizations know how important of a role they play in minimizing the spread of the disease. But if you are committed to volunteering with others, look for a group size of 10 or less. Embrace technology and use the tools you have to help those around you, remember “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Find innovative ways for virtual volunteering. Host a neighborhood clean-up. Pick up groceries for vulnerable neighbors. Help at the food bank. Build a Little Free Library.
Lastly though self-quarantine and isolation can feel ominous, it can also be viewed as “an amazing act of social solidarity: We’re sacrificing so we can give nurses, doctors and hospitals a fighting chance.”
If you would like to learn more about building community check out our blog.