Can you volunteer during COVID?
As the US case numbers climb higher and higher, so does the number of people who need nonprofit help. Over 3 million people registered for unemployment last week and food pantries are seeing a drastic increase in need for their services, but they have fewer volunteers than ever. If you are young, healthy, and have been social distancing, you could safely volunteer during COVID-19.
Even with social distancing measures or stay-at-home orders, you are still allowed to volunteer for essential nonprofits. Let’s keep helping each other.
Are you the right person to volunteer during COVID-19?
Your safety is really important to us. Not everyone should volunteer at this time. Take the quiz to see if you’re qualified to serve. Can’t volunteer? There are way to pitch in from the couch while social distancing.
Use the flow chart below to see if you can volunteer. Want to know if you’re qualified as a COVID-19 low-risk volunteer? Click below to find out!
Is the need critical?
Some examples are: food packing/deliveries, providing clean water, distributing cleaning products, helping with health-related initiatives.
Are you under the age of 60, and 1000000% feeling healthy?
PLEASE do not interact with others if you feel at all unwell. Have preexisting health conditions? Smoke or Vape? Over the age of 60?
Please stay home.
Have you traveled recently to a hot spot, or do you live in a city where you often take public transit?
As much as nonprofits need help, if you have come into contact with someone who has corona, you could be a carrier. Please only volunteer if you have been keeping your social circle/interactions locked down for the past 14 days.
Do you live with elderly family members, children, people with chronic conditions, or medical professionals?
If so, stay home!
Do you live with someone who is pregnant, or are you pregnant?
If you are around pregnant women or are pregnant, please care for their/your health by staying home.
Have you been social distancing before volunteering?
Charities want to make sure that they are reducing risk for both their volunteers, and the people they serve. If you’ve been social distancing, you are probably not sick/carrying COVID-19 and can volunteer.
Volunteer during COVID and after
When the world gets turned upside down, meeting the needs of everyone in your community becomes even more important. Nonprofits are complying with rules of operation, and you can volunteer even with a stay at home order in place.
- Masks are currently recommended (mandated in some places) for everyone leaving their home to conduct essential businesses. In many cities, people are permitted to leave their home to conduct essential businesses for themselves or on behalf of other people. In certain cities or neighborhoods, a strict lock-down order may be in place that prohibits all activities outside of one’s home. Volunteers should check and comply with all applicable local laws and guidelines in offering services.
- Wear protective gloves. Bring gloves to volunteer if you have the supplies.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after volunteering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice social distancing by keeping 6ft between yourself and other people.
- Avoid shaking hands or hugging.
If you want to do more good from your couch, POINT has virtual or remote volunteering opportunities. You could read books for story time with kiddos, or sew masks to keep essential workers safe, or join webinars to start getting involved for what you care about.
Support local nonprofits
Nonprofits are operating with reduced budgets and small numbers of volunteers, but they are working tirelessly to make sure people have what they need to survive. Donate to charities whose missions really resonate with you. No matter how much you give, it adds up and really makes an impact.
If you can volunteer, please do.
P.S. Know of an awesome charity or a food bank with skyrocketing need? Send them here. POINT’s nonprofit management dashboard is always free for 501c3 nonprofits.