COVID-19 & Volunteerism
What kind of volunteer activities can make the greatest impact during this current situation?
As the coronavirus situation continues to develop, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County’s local nonprofit partners are experiencing increased demand for emergency food, medical equipment, cleaning supplies, and general staff time. Our focus has been and continues to be supporting those agencies still operating services such as shelters, food pantries and clinics – a greater impact can be made immediately, while also honoring health department recommendations for social distancing, by supporting United Way’s Urgent Needs Fund.
These contributions are helping us purchase and distribute nonperishable food items, expand meal programs at shelters, and address the high demand for critical supplies such as hygiene items, gloves, and toilet paper.
If someone does want to go out in the community and support organizations in need of volunteers, how do you best keep yourself safe while helping others?
Interested volunteers should know how important of a role they play in minimizing the spread of the disease, especially when serving vulnerable populations.
Here are a few key tips -
a) If you are committed to volunteering with others, look for a group size of 10 or less.
b) You can make an immediate difference through simple solo volunteer acts like delivering food or a hot meal to a neighbor who needs it; giving blood - the American Red Cross has seen unprecedented cancellations in blood drives and as a result blood donors; pick up your phone and call isolated seniors you know to check in to make sure they are okay and simply to brighten their day.
And of course, if you are not feeling well, please stay home and get well. Thanks to people who think like you, there will be plenty of volunteers to help when needed.
Where can people go to learn more about current volunteer activities available to them during this situation?
The United Way team is in daily contact with our 80+ agency program partners. We will continue to update our community’s Urgent Volunteer Needs on United Way’s online volunteer registration website – Volunteers United. These urgent needs are currently highlighted on our website and will continue to grow and change as our community bans together throughout this challenging situation.
Together, we can make a difference.