Alternative Ways of Volunteering

At its core, Civic Leadership Development’s mission centers around improving the community through giving back and charitable actions. Volunteer work plays an integral role in that mission.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, however, social distancing has put a stop to many organized gatherings, including CLD’s volunteer events, in the best interest of public health.

You’re washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, and only going out when it’s necessary. Besides taking all these steps to protect yourself and your family, what else can you do to help your community during the pandemic? Although the appearance of COVID-19 into our lives has made it difficult for individuals to give back through volunteer work, there are many alternatives to continue to support nonprofits and communities in need. Here are just a few!

1) Donate to nonprofits helping specifically to respond to issues created by COVID-19- and continue to help your usual favorite causes as well

While physically turning out to volunteer events can be incredibly fulfilling, many nonprofits can benefit just as much from online donations as well. COVID-19, specifically, has created many new issues and placed a financial burden on all nonprofits. Many nonprofits have had to cancel their usual programs and events out of concern for public health, and organizations directly related to medical and public health are struggling to adapt to meet the needs of the public while also acquiring the resources to do so.

If you’re in the financial position to do so, direct donations to organizations are a great way to continue to support your community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations can support the medical needs in the US and internationally. It’s a great way to show your support to nonprofits who depend on commitment from their volunteers through these difficult times.

Here’s a guide to donating specifically towards the pandemic.

2) Volunteer for organizations providing critical services

Many organizations will see a drop in their usual commitments due to the high risk of public health and safety posed by COVID-19. Nonprofits, however, that deliver critical services, will still need to deliver resources to the populations that rely on them, especially when needs during the pandemic (think food pantries).

While group volunteer events might not be possible, reach out to these ‘critical service’ organizations and ask them what you can do for them. Some organizations need online volunteer services, such as serving as a crisis counselor on a hotline service, or helping nonprofits write grants- by reaching out, you can seek out these opportunities and provide a helping hand to these organizations who need it

3) Directly help affected communities

Although everyone has had their daily life changed by COVID-19, certain communities have experienced a greater, direct impact on their livelihoods due to the economic implications of social distancing. Restaurant staff, domestic workers, performance artists-all these people are considered non-essential workers, leaving them out of work and in difficult financial positions as we all continue to stay in our homes.

If you’re able to help out, do your research on donating to direct relief and loans for these affected populations. Although you won’t be able to donate your time, the financial support will be greatly appreciated!

Click here for places you can donate to these communities.

During times of need, the nonprofits in your community need you more than ever. Showing support, even in these alternate ways, can mean the world to organizations that depend on volunteers to provide their services. Find what methods’ work best for you and donate your time and money, if you can, to supporting a cause that means something to you-because despite social distancing, a pandemic can be proven powerless when we come together and spreading positivity throughout our communities.

By Ria Talukder