Lend a Hand from Home: How to Volunteer during the COVID-19 Pandemic
While most of us are staying at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, we can still make a positive impact in meaningful ways.
Staying home and staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic means we may have some extra time on our hands. If you’re looking for ways you can help — but don’t want to or can’t leave your home — you’re not alone. Plenty of at-home and digital volunteer opportunities are available through nonprofit organizations, and you can help in several ways while sheltering in place.
Take Action on P&G Good Everyday
By taking simple actions on P&G Good Everyday, such as scanning a receipt or taking a quick survey, you can support a range of COVID-19 response efforts — and help us do even more good. If you select the COVID-19: P&G + Feeding America® cause, you can join us in providing up to 25,000 meals to people in need. Our partnership with Matthew 25: Ministries will help us in the shipping of 25,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) or disaster-relief supplies. And the Safeguard America program will help us provide additional hand sanitizer for 25,000 front-line workers. Learn how you can get involved and make a difference.
Sew Face Masks
If you have a sewing machine, a stash of fabric and basic sewing skills, you can sew a nonmedical face mask. Do an internet search for online patterns, ranging from simple rectangles with elastic loops to more complex, fitted designs. You can donate to hospitals, residential facilities, nursing homes and other service organizations, or you can distribute masks to friends and family to help keep them protected for daily errands. Either way, you’re helping to slow the spread of the virus.
Help Your Local Food Bank
Many food banks nationwide have reached critical levels of need — and right now, they need our help. You can get involved through the Feeding America® nationwide network of food banks. Even though Feeding America® has temporarily paused its in-person volunteer opportunities, they’re encouraging people to contact local food banks to find out how to help. For example, many food banks are accepting drive-through donations to make an impact with minimal contact.
Become a Virtual Volunteer with the American Red Cross
Ninety percent of the efforts carried out by the American Red Cross are performed by volunteers. The organization has a wide range of online and at-home volunteer positions; visit their website to learn more.
Raise Money through Social Media
Many organizations need continued funding to provide help to those who need it most. But not everyone has the personal financial means to donate large sums of money — and that’s OK. Now’s the time to rally your social network on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to make a collective impact for an organization of your choice. Simply use your social influence to explain who you’re raising money for and why it’s important to you, and then set up a campaign through a crowdsourcing or fundraising site. Then invite your friends and family to donate if they can.
Who should you donate to? Here are a few ideas:
- Feeding America®, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund, a national food and fundraising effort to help people facing hunger and the food banks that support them.
- Direct Relief is working to provide protective gear and critical-care medications to as many health workers as possible.
- Boys & Girls Club of America has launched the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Kids & Communities, providing meals, virtual learning and support for first responders.
Write Letters to Isolated COVID-19 Patients
Hospitals across the country are requesting small notes of kindness they can deliver to patients currently in isolation with the virus. A thoughtful note can help lift someone’s spirits and make them feel less alone during this difficult time. Contact your local hospital to see if they are collecting letters.
Other Ways to Help
Apart from supporting nonprofit organizations through volunteering, you can also support local businesses in your area. Order takeout from your favorite local restaurant or buy a gift card to use later. And, of course, monetary donations to organizations providing pandemic relief will go a long way toward keeping them up and running. Even if you cannot give much, what you do give might make all the difference.