Did you know that this week is National Volunteer Week? It’s true! And while volunteering might look a little different this year, there are still lots of ways you can give back. LiveYourDream.org and Soroptimist are powered by our volunteers. We wouldn’t be able to do any of the work we do without them!
If you’ve kept up with the news, you probably know that domestic violence cases are on the rise. In addition to that, women, particularly women of color, make up the vast majority of what is now the essential workforce. Now more than ever, women need our support.
It’s easy to feel helpless while stuck inside your house, but there are still things you can do! Here are 5 ways you can give back during COVID-19:
This is probably the most obvious thing you can do, though with the skyrocketing unemployment rate, this is not feasible for everyone. If you are one of the lucky people still employed, consider contributing financially to organizations that are supporting the most vulnerable.
This could be your local food banks, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, organizations that support women, or maybe you know someone personally who is struggling that you can help out. Find what works best for you and your community. There’s no amount too small when it comes to supporting those in need.
2. Give Blood
According to the American Red Cross, due to COVID-19 there is a significant decrease in people who are eligible to donate blood. This means that their resources are running low at a time when hospitals need this resource more than ever. If you are healthy and able, consider scheduling a blood donation by visiting redcrossblood.org.
3. Volunteer Virtually
Now that we all need to stay home, many organizations are making their services virtual so that they can still support the people they serve. In addition, there are lots of hotline services that support domestic violence and sexual assault survivors via phone. Organizations like RAINN and The National Domestic Violence Hotline have lots of volunteer opportunities for offering virtual support to survivors.
LiveYourDream.org has virtual opportunities as well! Try raising awareness about gender-based violence, or sending a message of support to a struggling woman who needs inspiration. Plus, we’re always looking for passionate writers to contribute to our blog!
4. Be a Good Neighbor
Now is the time to learn your neighbors’ phone numbers. Maybe there’s mom of young kids down the hall from your apartment, or an elderly couple across the street from your house. Take the time to check in (from 6 feet away of course) and see if there is anything you can do to support them. You can volunteer to get their groceries or simply offer some solidarity and conversation during a lonely and isolating time. It’s so important to look out for one another.
5. Host a Fundraiser
Spending a lot of time on the internet lately? Us too. Since we’re all connecting virtually and on social media, why not use that space to raise awareness and funds for the cause you care about? Platforms like Facebook make it easy to host a virtual fundraiser!
LiveYourDream.org has lots of resources for how to get started. Reaching out to your networks is an awesome way to raise money for a cause! Looking for the perfect time to kick off your fundraiser? May 5 is Giving Tuesday Now! This day is dedicated to coming together as a community to offer support to those impacted by COVID-19. Do your part by posting your fundraiser on social media!
Even though we can’t be together physically, there are still so many amazing ways we can support each other. We are all in this together, so let’s offer a virtual helping hand when we can!
And a HUGE thank you to each and every one of our volunteers for all the amazing things they do! We can’t do the work of supporting and empowering women without you.
Elizabeth Endara is a writer, advocate, doula, yoga teacher and cat mom based in NYC. She loves Great British Bake-Off, Eastern Europe, snug coffee shops and writing about her feelings. She is the co-founder of a feminist blog called Release the Women and you can follow her work on Instagram @elizabetheendara.