By Maryssa Fenwick
As we continue to cope with the effects and spread of Covid-19, I thought it may be helpful to share a few ways you can stay active in your communities, while staying safe and following social distancing guidelines. During my time serving in Energy Corps I have gotten involved with some amazing organizations within my community and volunteering has become a monthly activity I look forward to. Myself, like many others I’m sure, have been feeling a bit stagnant in my community as the pandemic has reduced or completely halted many volunteer opportunities. In this blog post you will find three ways to stay active in your community during these uncertain times. The three ways I discuss here may not be the right choice for everybody and I fully acknowledge that and encourage everyone to find what works best for them, with the primary focus being safety. With that being said, let’s dig in!
The first way I have found to continue serving my community is through virtual companionship care. The options for companionship care are broad and include, but are not limited to, weekly phone calls to check in, pen pals, text messages sharing inspiration and care packages sent through the mail. By reaching out to people who are feeling lonely during this time you are able to provide a change of pace in their day and engage in new conversations. To find people looking for a companion reach out to your local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Companionship care is a great volunteer opportunity that allows people to follow social distancing guidelines while connecting with others in their community!
Another way to continue serving your community is to reach out to your local food banks. Right now food banks and other food organizations are seeing an influx in need. If you feel comfortable volunteering, in person, opportunities may include food delivery, preparation, and restocking. If you’d prefer to help virtually, see if they need help managing their social media pages, calling distributors, or offer a skill you possess that can help further their mission. You may be surprised by the unique ways your skills can be used virtually to help people in your community!
Finally, a great way to stay active during this time is to brainstorm ideas with your friends and family on tangible ways your community could use some help. For example, organize a trash pick-up where people participating can stay 6 feet apart and wear gloves and face masks while helping clean up an area in need. Another idea is to offer free yard work for elderly members in your community. Follow the same safety guidelines as your clean up brush, mow people’s lawns, or help clean the gutters. Find what community members in your area need and offer a helping hand!
The three ways we covered here are suggestions to get you started. Every community is unique, as are the people living there. I encourage you to get creative and find ways to best help your community during this time, while keeping a focus on people’s health and safety!