The coronavirus pandemic has influenced everyone, but its impact is greater for some more than others. If you are wishing you could help those in need while still observing social distancing, then look no further. Here are some ideas on how to volunteer and make a difference during this crazy time.
1. Make Sack Lunches to Deliver to Your Local Homeless Shelter
Next time you go grocery shopping (which is now about once a week), grab some extra supplies to make sack lunches for homeless people in need. One batch is 10 lunches that you can then drop off at a contactless location. Your local shelter will guide you on what is expected in the lunches, but typically it consists of a homemade sandwich with protein, an energy bar, fresh fruit (such as banana, apple or orange) and a sweet treat. It’s also important to include a bottle of water and a napkin. Since it’s a community based program you can check in with your local shelter for all of the details specific to your town.
2. Sew Masks
Since face coverings are now a requirement in stores many people are in need of masks. Hospitals also need additional masks for medical professionals and patients. If you have a sewing machine then this is a great way to volunteer in your community. You can order some fun fabrics online and use HEPA filters from the hardware store. Here is a link to an easy pattern and instructions: https://sarahmaker.com/how-to-sew-a-surgical-face-mask-for-hospitals-free-pattern/
And here are some fun masks we have seen for inspiration:
3. Connect with the Elderly
There are a few different programs where you can reach out to elderly people who may be isolated during the pandemic and are suffering from loneliness. The first program allows you to make a phone callto your designated “pal” every morning to check in on them and share some friendly conversation. The second program allows you and your kids to write letters and create drawings to be given to elderly people and nursing homes. Both of these programs will make a difference and help you to volunteer from your own home!
For more information about the phone call program click here.
For more information about the letters program click here.
4. Read to Kids
Vello, along with other programs, allows you to read a book with a kid over video chat. You will be helping them with their reading skills as well as providing a great pastime for both you and the child. Distance learning is a great resource for kids who need a little extra help with their reading.
For more information click here.
5. Help Record Audiobooks
Learning Ally helps to create audiobooks for people who are blind. You can volunteer to be the voice of some recordings to expand the library and help bring more access to books. During the coronavirus pandemic one of the top pastimes is reading. This program allows blind people to experience great books as well.
For more information click here.
6. Donate Items
One trendy pastime while staying at home has been organizing drawers, closets and garages. If you decide to do a clean sweep of your stuff you should consider donating unwanted items to your local thrift store or Salvation Army. Some drop-off locations currently have limited hours, but most cities have at least one drop-off point even during the pandemic. This is an easy way to give to others while giving to yourself as well. Organization and clean slate will give you peace of mind on top of knowing that your donations are making a difference.