During times of crisis, many people look for ways to give back. One of the best ways to do so is volunteering with your kids. This activity allows your family to spend time together while doing good for others.
Although volunteering is primarily about helping others, it can also improve one’s mental and physical health. A study conducted in 2018 revealed that people who had volunteered reported feeling better.
Here are nine ways families are doing their part to support the local community.
Volunteer at a Local Farm
Many farms affected by the COVID-19 pandemic need assistance. You can find a local farm that needs volunteers on the Local Harvest website. However, outdoor activities can still expose people to the coronavirus, so take care and follow local safety protocols. Follow the CDC’s guidelines for staying healthy and avoiding exposure to the coronavirus, such as wearing a mask and staying at least six feet away from any other volunteers.
Help Out a Neighbor
Through online groups and mutual aid networks, people with compromised immune systems have received supplies and grocery items. You can find these mutual aid groups in your area by searching for the name of the city or neighborhood in which you live using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. People can post their needs on the app, and local volunteers can help them out.
This concept was especially helpful during times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed people to get supplies and medicine from their neighbors without risking exposure to the virus. However, even once COVID is under control, you may still have neighbors who face obstacles to getting to the grocery store, so this is an ongoing need!
You can also volunteer for a local food bank or make care kits to distribute to people in need. These kits could include hygiene items and personal care items. You can also reach out to similar groups in your area to see if they accept these donations.
Write Thank-You Notes to Frontline Workers and Shut-Ins
Through a program called “Gift of Words,” people can send thank-you notes to care workers in hospitals and senior homes. These individuals provide vital support for patients with COVID-19. Residents of care homes may feel isolated due to the lack of in-person visitors. This can be alleviated through a program called Love for Our Elders, which allows families to schedule time together to write meaningful notes.
Share Your Talents
Through Gift of Words, kids can also receive free educational activities through a volunteer mentoring program. Volunteers can also chat with their designated mentees and play educational games. This program helps kids feel like they’re not alone. Another way to volunteer is through organizations like Family Promise, which allows families to search for opportunities closest to their interests.
Pick Up Litter
Although it’s getting cold outside, it’s still possible to clean up streams and beaches in your area. According to author and volunteer Shannon Brescher Shea, it’s essential to keep in mind that these activities can be done in any weather. Although most cities don’t have organized programs, you can still help by picking up trash and cleaning up your own neighborhood. She also suggests doing various other tasks, such as clearing out community gardens.
Even during times of crisis, there are still many creative ways to help others. Having a plan and discussing these ideas with your family will help get everyone excited about volunteering.