During these uncertain times, it is common for people to feel a sense of helplessness given all that is happening around us and throughout the globe. On a smaller scale, you may be asking yourself, “What can I do to help my community?” and not know exactly where to start. There are many ways you can help out that will make an impact in your community.
Donate your time and energy
Volunteering your time to help those in need of professional and technical skills could go a long way in today’s job market. One example of a program that does just this is YMCA Training, Inc. This non-profit connects unemployed low-income adults with people who can help them practice job interview questions and learn office-setting skills.
Tutoring students virtually is another way to donate your time. With many students learning online or in a hybrid school setting, this brings a certain set of hardships for setting students up for learning success. Tutoring during the pandemic is needed more than ever before, and there are many resources to help connect people with students in need. UPchieve is one example of an online organization centering around math tutoring for low-income youth in the United States. The program partners with schools and non-profit organizations to provide free support for students in need of math help.
Reaching out to those around you can also go a long way right now during these trying times. Many people are experiencing hardships in different aspects of their lives, whether it is personal, professional, or financial adversity. Volunteering via email or phone can help others out more than you know. If you can offer any type of professional help, or maybe some emotional support, it could make a huge difference.
Donate extra belongings
If you have extra food, clothes, and/or technology lying around the house that can be used by others in need, now is the perfect time to let go of them to make a difference. Donating to your local food pantry could mean putting food on the table for a family in need in your neighborhood. Food collections are set up in many communities at local food banks and churches. Some food banks may even pick up directly from your house.
If you are looking to clean out your closet, keep in mind that as the season is changing to colder weather, many families will need warmer clothing. Winter coats will be an item that many thrift stores and local organizations will be taking to provide to families in need.
Along with food and clothes, you can donate unused technology. Many schools are experiencing a shortage of technology to be used for virtual learning. If you have an extra computer or tablet in good working condition, you may be able to donate it to a school or organization where it could end up with a student in need.
The Massachusetts government website provides a helpful webpage that gives information on where you can donate food, clothing, household equipment, electronics, and furniture on their official website (Donate & Reuse).
In addition to donating your time and belongings, you may also wish to donate money to local charities or larger organizations that help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is easy to find these places online or through social media, depending on the type of charity organization you would like to help.
One example of a way to donate money to help people in education is through a company called Donors Choose. This is an online company that helps connect teachers to people who would like to donate financially to help them fund their classrooms or classroom activities.
All of these donation tips, whether it be your time, belongings, or money, are important and can make a difference in many people’s lives. However, it is also important to take care of yourself during these times. Whether you are commuting into the office, working from home, on the job search, taking care of a child at home, and more, maintaining self-care is crucial for your well-being. By making sure to adhere to social distancing measures, wearing a mask, and using other protocols during this pandemic, you are keeping yourself and others around you at less risk. Taking part in self-care by finding the time to do things you enjoy safely is crucial for maintaining your sense of well-being. If you are taking the time for yourself, it will only help those around you and make your community stronger.
These are just a few tips that you can get involved with. Be sure to stay up-to-date with your local news to be informed on where you can offer your help.
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