National Volunteer Week: How to make a difference during social distancing

This month April 19th-24th marks National Volunteer Week in the United States, and with the coronavirus pandemic in full swing now is the best time to act and strengthen the bonds of our communities.

At the time of writing this, the coronavirus has a total of almost 2 million confirmed cases and 125,000 deaths worldwide. The United States is being hit especially hard economically as widespread lockdowns have caused all non-essential businesses to close and layoffs have increased unemployment numbers into the millions.

It’s a natural response to want to help those in need, and that’s why in the spirit of volunteer week we’ll be listing some ways that you can help your community during social distancing.

Service Opportunities

Two of the biggest ways that we found that you can be helpful is in volunteer work (if you feel like taking the risk of going outside in some cases) and donations to various causes that are tackling the pandemic. Below we’ve outlined different ways that you can do your part in helping your community.

Donating:

  • GiveDirectly- is a charity that donates 97 cents of every dollar given to them directly to families in the United States that are being impacted by COVID-19. They’re beginning by targeting vulnerable households that are enrolled in SNAP and live in the areas that are hardest hit by the virus. If you want to make sure that your dollars get sent to American families as quickly as possible then this charity would be it, even Google pledged a million dollars for families in San Francisco through the charity!
  • Buying Gift Cards- This suggestion may sound a bit ridiculous, but an idea that has been gaining traction is buying gift cards from small businesses to support them during this pandemic. NPR reported on it back in March and we think that it’s a good idea as a direct way that consumers can support their local businesses directly while they wait for government assistance.
  • Donating Blood- Due to the cancelations of blood drives across the U.S., the American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage. If you’re a healthy individual and want to donate blood than make an appointment here or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a local donation site.
  • Donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- mask shortages have caused some groups to create websites like getusppe.org to give suggestions on how to donate unused protective equipment to hospitals and medical centers.

Volunteering:

  • Code for America- If you can program, Code for America is a nonprofit that works with other nonprofits and state and local governments to improve the technological infrastructure around the safety net. With some states unemployment websites being put to the test, Code for America is an excellent way to volunteer from home.
  • Drive-by Coronavirus Testing- Some states, like Maryland and the District of Columbia, are asking for volunteers to conduct drive-by coronavirus testing. You can see if your area is doing something similar through the Medical Reserve Corps, a program of the federal Department of Health and Human Services that recruits volunteers to assist medical professionals.
  • Volunteer match- is an excellent website that is like the Indeed or LinkedIn of volunteer work. They have multiple listings of volunteer work that is in person or remotely from different communities across the country and is an excellent way to know what’s going on in your area.
  • Feeding America- even during crisis food banks across the country still need help keeping their shelves stocked and communities fed. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and is a great way to find your local food bank to volunteer at.

The above only represents a small number of ways that you can get involved, but ultimately the volunteer opportunities available to you are based on the needs of your community. Get in touch with a neighbor or a friend through an email or online chat and see what needs to be done in your area. Making a difference just takes a bit of effort, but once you get started it’s easy work that makes a large impact. 

SolveHR’s mission has always been to provide meaningful, yet simple HR solutions for our clients. In light of the spread of COVID-19, we will continue to make good on that mission, so you can continue to focus on your business and the communities you serve.

 



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