Opportunity Knocks: Making a Difference is Still Possible
How to Volunteer, Get Involved, and Support Philanthropic Work During These Uncertain Times
By now, we’ve all set up our virtual offices, stocked our fridge and pantry. We’re all also doing our small part to social distance and limit the spread of the coronavirus. With over a week of isolation in the books for most of us, we’re adjusting to our new normal. And if you’re like us, this has meant a little less 24/7 news watching and a little more searching for the good in the world. That is something that has inspired and reassured us that positivity abounds around us.
So, with nowhere to go and nothing to do, why not be a part of the positivity? Making a difference might not be as easy as it was two or three weeks ago, but it is still possible. Here are three creative ways to get involved and support your community in times of need.
1. Volunteer In Person, at a Distance
Yes, you can still volunteer in person. Healthy, symptom-free volunteers are still needed across the country. Food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters still have needy citizens to feed. And with schools closed and students who relied on free school lunches needing our help, along with a growing number of our most vulnerable members of society now needing assistance, this demand will continue to grow. Many non-profits still need volunteers to sort and distribute donations. With heightened sanitation measures and social distancing in place, you can show up and make sure everyone has food on their plate.
And if your health or living arrangements prevent you from wanting to go into public at all, consider some financial support for these organizations. While delayed, Amazon is still delivering. And if you’re homeschooling right now, what a great lesson to add to the curriculum. Sit down with your kids and fill up your Amazon cart together. Then have it delivered to your local shelter or food bank.
2. Virtual Volunteering
For some industries, work has stopped completely. But much like the food banks and shelters that we discussed above, other nonprofits still have pressing needs. And when we come out of this, they will still be the folks on the front line addressing some of our world’s most pressing needs. And you can help many of them without leaving your shiny, new remote office.
Take a look at fellow B Corp CATCHAFIRE, who offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to list their project needs and then matches them with volunteers that have the skills to tackle those needs. On the first page of opportunities alone, we saw projects that ranged from providing Excel training to helping a non-profit develop their elevator pitch. Find a project that matches your skillset and sign up. You can also check out some creative ideas from Tom Moran, CEO of Teadora, for ways to volunteer from a distance.
3. When the Dust Settles, Support the Companies & Non-Profits that Stepped Up
In addition to the need to step up now to support local businesses by ordering takeout, buying gift cards, or even ordering locally made holiday presents a bit earlier than expected, we should use this crisis to show love and appreciation to the companies and employers that are stepping up for their communities and their team. In the B Corp world, we have a slogan: Vote Every Day. So, when the dust settles, we recommend that you vote for the companies that are making a difference in your community, like some of the examples listed below.
Locally, in the Atlanta, GA, area, we have seen the amazing folks at GoodrCo partner up with State Farm and the Atlanta Hawks. They have each sponsored pop-up grocery stores to ensure everyone has food on their plate. And recently, Atlanta-based Spanx went even further, providing funding for Goodr to be able to offer grocery delivery to families in need.
And throughout the country, companies are stepping up. Baltimore-based Under Armour donated over $1m to Feeding America. In Sioux Falls, SD, local restaurateur Mark Fonder has been using his facilities and supplies to feed hungry school children. Republic Restoratives Distillery and Compass Coffee, both out of Washington, D.C., have begun using their facilities to ramp up production of hand sanitizer. A CEO in Virginia is even foregoing his salary and providing each of his employees an extra $500 per paycheck to support his employees.
In these challenging times, there are always incredible beams of light to guide our path. All of us at Ad Victoriam hope this has given you some inspiration to be your own guiding light. Volunteer in person if you can. Volunteer remotely if you can. Celebrate and support those who are leading your community efforts. And most importantly, spread positivity! If you would like to reach out to us to discuss our B Corporation commitment and initiatives, click here.
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