Five Easy Ways to Volunteer During a Pandemic

by - Wednesday, February 03, 2021


When I feel really terrible about the state of the world, nothing makes me feel better than getting out there and doing something about it. I know I am not alone- 70% of millenials volunteer regularly. Well, we used to. Volunteering is one of those things that seems nearly impossible to do right now- how can you help people when you can't get within six feet? Are you really doing any good if you are potentially spreading the virus while you do it? 

If you are feeling motivated to do something positive while everything is so negative, there are more opportunities than I expected! One of the coolest things I have seen is Give 19- their goal is that more people be effected by giving than by Covid. It's a pretty cool place to start if you are feeling negative or helpless. I think I will try it as a project with my kids. 

 Want more ideas? Here are some things to try- 

1. Go for Litter Walks

I don't know if this is true everywhere, but I have seen so much more trash around lately. I just kept kicking myself that I didn't have a trash bag with me when we were out on walks or at the park. So, I got two litter pickers (which my kids are really excited about), and we started cleaning up the places we visit. It isn't a huge thing, but I think it genuinely does add a little bit of kindness and stewardship to our regular routine. 

Can you imagine if our communities were actually cleaner when we could get back to whatever normal looks like next? I think that is pretty powerful.

2. Get Involved in your Buy Nothing Group or Start One! 

I love the Buy Nothing Project- if you have never heard of it, check out their website. There are hundreds of Buy Nothing Groups in the United States, each one represents a hyper local neighborhood. In their facebook group, neighbors gift and ask for gifts freely. Our Buy Nothing group has connected us to the community in ways I never thought possible, and it lifts my spirit every single day. While the rest of social media is brutal, Buy Nothing groups are a space where people are mindfully kind to each other. During the pandemic, our neighborhood has made sure everyone has food, people don't feel alone, they even walked someone's dog while they were in quarantine! 

Want to do something little to help others everyday? Try Buy Nothing. If your neighborhood has a group, join it! If not, you can do a huge service to your neighborhood by starting one. Truly, it can transform the way people interact with each other. If you want to hear more about my experience, I will happily share with you! 

3. Become a Crisis Counselor

Crisis Text Line needs volunteers to answer the texts from people in crisis. Considering how the past year has been for people's mental health, I imagine they are getting more texts than ever. If you are in a good place and are able to keep calm and empathic, this could be a powerful way to help someone in this season. 

4. Donate Blood

The Red Cross still needs blood donors, and they seem to have pretty covid-safe and thoughtful approach. We all know by now that life doesn't stop just because a pandemic is going on- this is a great way to help them continue to attend to the needs out there. 

5. Get People Fed

With so many people out of work and struggling, hunger is as much an American problem as ever. Check out your local food banks and pantries. Most areas have them, so you can be sure that the people right where you are get the help they need. Larger organizations like Meals on Wheels are hard at work, with new rules for Covid (but a high need for volunteers as always). 

Want more options? Check out Invisible Hands

Five Easy Ways to Volunteer During a Pandemic  (even with kids)

None of this seem quite right? You can also take up political activism right now. Sending your representatives letters, make phone calls, and push for a world that is better for everyone. Just showing you pay attention makes a difference!

If you want to see what specific needs are local to you, Volunteer Match can be a great place to start. 

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