Many of us are pondering the trade-offs of needing to shelter at home and also wanting to personally help others. We’re keeping a close eye on safe volunteer options you can do from home and in your local community. Here are some ideas and resources to consider:
Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, has launched a new way for people to help others in volunteer work all from the comfort of their own homes. With many nonprofits struggling to meet the demand for their services due to the lack of volunteers, Points of Light gives people the chance to virtually extend a hand to those in need with the launch of a new online clearinghouse. Visit their website for volunteering opportunities across the country and in your location.
“We are seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health, to help the NHS, for shopping, for delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded to protect their own health.” It is hoped that the network of volunteers — which will be known as NHS Volunteer Responders — will help the up-to 1.5 million people especially vulnerable to coronavirus who have been told to “shield” themselves for 12 weeks.
Virtual Volunteerism: Be a #LocalLight in your own community and recognize the impact of volunteers during Global Volunteer Month. Global Volunteer Month was initially conceived to recognize the thousands of people around the world who serve as points of light in their own communities. In light of COVID-19, the need to recognize, inspire and activate volunteers is greater than ever. Society’s most vulnerable populations need support and will continue to need support in the weeks and months ahead.
Invisible Hands is a group of engaged volunteers with the least risk for severe reactions working to bring groceries and supplies to those in high-risk demographics, focusing most prominently on the elderly, disabled, and immunocompromised, while also available to help anyone in need. Request a delivery of supplies, groceries or whatever else you may need, and a volunteer will bring it to your doorstep. Currently servicing the greater New York area and parts of New Jersey.
Certain groups will feel this public health crisis more than others, including older people, workers who can’t call in sick, and people who either can’t pay for quality health care or simply don’t have access to it. The most important action individuals can take is to stop the spread of the virus by washing their hands correctly, practicing “social distancing,” and quarantining themselves if they are sick, public health officials say.