The coronavirus (COVID-19) has put our world into pandemic and left many of us feeling helpless and wondering, “How can we help?” Health and safety are top priorities for a great deal of Americans. Spending time in a large crowd or doing hands-on volunteering may seem risky, so it’s time to get creative! There are many ways you can help while remaining safe and socially distant.
During times of mass uncertainty, there are always underserved groups that desperately need help. Many nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers to operate successfully and serve their community’s needs. Unfortunately, a pandemic such as COVID-19 can dwindle a volunteer crew down to zero.
Here are some of the best ways to volunteer your time and resources to help others while keeping yourself safe and healthy:
- If you’re healthy and able to, give blood. The Red Cross is in constant need of both blood and platelets. Many blood donation centers are set up to allow you to give blood while remaining socially distant.
- Saving money on gas and transportation right now? Consider donating to a nonprofit that serves the vulnerable populations in your community—they are likely heavily affected by the virus and economic downturn.
- Volunteer at a local food bank or pantry. Many food banks, such as Desert Mission Food Bank in Phoenix, have created a socially-distant system for volunteers to sort and pack food for the hungry.
- If you can sew — even a little bit — mask making is simple and appreciated by everyone from neighbors to front line workers. Depending on your time and investment, you can make custom masks for community centers, senior centers, local fire fighters, or just your neighbors.
- Use your expertise to help those looking for work. Whether you’re a great writer, an HR professional or have a knack for design, offer up free resume reviews or interview tips through your social media channels.
- If you aren’t comfortable volunteering in-person, find opportunities to volunteer from home through All For Good. From fundraisers to administration, there are plenty of ways to serve some of your favorite nonprofits from home.
- Support your community by shopping locally. Weekly farmers’ markets are held all over the Valley. Find one near you and pickup your produce for the week. Not only will your purchase benefit local farmers, you’ll be filling your kitchen with fresh fruits and veggies!
- Work on building a sense of community in your own neighborhood. Whether it’s simply leaving a note on a neighbor’s porch to let them know you’re thinking of them or smiling and waving at fellow dog walkers, a small connection can make a big difference in someone’s daily life.
- Now that school is back in session in many districts across the state, you can volunteer to tutor a child using Zoom or another platform. Whether it’s a friend’s child who may need help or through one of the school districts, parents always appreciate some help for their child.
- Finally, spread the word! Once you pick a place to donate your time, funds or resources, encourage others to join you. It’ll feel great supporting an organization you’re passionate about while also helping others find a way to give back.
The coronavirus has affected everyone differently—some are seeking ways to help their community, while others are just taking it day by day. Either way, the pandemic is an opportunity to support one another in new and unique ways. Find a method to give back that works best for you and go spread some smiles!