Community

Volunteering during the pandemic can help you be the change

Volunteering during the pandemic can help you be the change

This past year has been filled with isolation, heartbreak, anxiety and depression. One way to help reverse those feelings is to volunteer to help get our community back to its vibrant self. Research shows that volunteering makes us healthier and happier. It also creates a positive change in the lives of others and could possibly create connections to foster your personal or professional life.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 when it’s your time is our ticket to getting back to life with parades, live music and cocktails with your boos. If you’re not yet eligible, consider helping people who are—the most vulnerable in our population.

Uber has donated 20,000 rides to vaccination sites, but residents need to know about their transportation options. Even just getting the word out on social media that the vaccines are extremely safe, effective and are becoming available can help. This is especially helpful for Spanish-speaking and Black populations, who are being vaccinated in lower numbers than other people in the community.

Love thy neighbor

Lots of people are struggling right now, so if you’re financially able, consider making a donation to a local food pantry or to any of the number of assistance funds available to local residents.

Low on cash but have time on your hands? Put on a mask and (safely) volunteer. The NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps and the New Orleans Medical Reserve Corps are both seeking volunteers to help with the medical and nonmedical aspects of vaccinating community members against COVID-19. Wouldn’t it feel great to tell your grandkids that you helped end the pandemic?

There are so many ways to contribute, and you can also subscribe to get emails when new volunteer opportunities arise. Visit the NOLA COVID-19 Resource Calendar for test sites, places offering free food and even virtual workouts.

Help your mom n’em

Know someone elderly who has trouble with technology? Help get them registered online for their vaccination, then give them a ride (wearing your mask, of course).

During the pandemic, scams have been on the rise. Help your older loved ones by walking them through the types of phone scams that are happening these days, and talk to them about never giving out sensitive information to somebody they don’t know.

Adopt—don’t shop

The pandemic has been great for shelter animals because so many people have wanted a companion while stuck at home. Volunteering at a shelter or at adoption events can be very fulfilling, especially if you love being around animals. If you have room, fostering helps animals become ready for adoption and can help save lives.

Use your mad skills

Have a skill you can use to raise money? If you learned to bake the perfect loaf of bread or how to create a charcuterie chalet during lockdown, you can sell those goods to raise money for charity.

Is your gym shut down, but you know how to teach a workout class? Charge a fee for virtual workouts to raise money for ride-share vouchers, which could be used to transport community members to and from vaccination appointments.

Thank a healthcare hero Healthcare workers have worked in dangerous conditions and to the point of exhaustion for more than a year. Want to send a message of encouragement to a healthcare hero? Call the Health Hero Hotline at (877) 226-4376.

For more information about how to help be the change you want to see in NOLA, visit lcmchealth.org/community.