#virtuallyBARTable | Volunteer opportunities during COVID-19
Photo courtesy of Openhouse.
The Bay Area’s shelter-in-place has been extended at least through the end of May, but while so much has been put on hold, the needs of vulnerable demographics continue. Many nonprofit campaigns under these limiting circumstances remain essential services and are still working to provide much-needed support.
Volunteering during this time requires some additional mindfulness and strategizing—and it can’t be stressed enough that in-person volunteering should only be considered if you are in absolutely good health and not of an age or disposition that is especially susceptible to COVID-19. With extra measures set in place (including social distancing tactics, required masks, and use of new technology) to protect those giving and receiving through volunteer efforts, here are some Bay Area nonprofits—in addition to local food banks—open to having more help.
Photo courtesy of Openhouse.
Since 1998, Openhouse has been supporting LGBQT seniors and adults with disabilities through affordable housing assistance, engaging programming, and a caring, attentive community. Volunteer to provide companionship through scheduled phone calls, grocery deliveries, and other assistance with errands—all with the convenient and safe use of online organizing through the Mon Ami app. Sign up online to begin the Openhouse volunteer process during the shelter-in-place.
Photo courtesy of Oakland At Risk.
If you are a healthy adult under 60, you can be paired with someone in the Oakland community who is vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis. By signing up to be matched with a household who needs support, you can assist by delivering prepared restaurant meals, groceries, or prescriptions, calling to check in throughout the week, or providing miscellaneous help that may come up. Sign up via the Oakland At Risk online form.
Photo courtesy of Free Farm Stand.
Support this all-volunteer operation that distributes locally grown organic produce for free to those who show up every Sunday afternoon in the Mission: the Free Farm Stand runs from noon to 3pm each Sunday in Parque Ninos Unidos, at the corner of 23rd St. and Treat Avenue in San Francisco. While the FFS doesn’t need people to volunteer at the stand at this time, it can use more produce. If you’ve got a garden and can plant an extra row(s) to produce for the hungry, the FFS is inviting locals to drop off their homegrown produce or flowers. Visit freefarmstand.org or contact email@example.com to learn more.
Photo courtesy of SF Community Support.
SF Community Support is a “collective grassroots effort coordinating safe volunteer opportunities” throughout San Francisco neighborhoods. Whether someone is looking for help with dog-walking, grocery deliveries, or support with technology, the immediate assistance is as diverse as the people involved. Want to directly have an impact on your neighbor’s wellbeing? Sign up online and you’ll be matched with someone within 24 hours.
Photo courtesy of Medical Reserve Corps.
The Medical Reserve Corps invites volunteers throughout San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley to support healthcare providers and first responders in various ways. Depending on your background and skills, you can be placed to help with emergency response efforts or ongoing partnerships with other public health organizations to keep your local community safe and prepared. While many volunteers have come from medical profession backgrounds, it is not a requirement and training is provided. Learn more about your local chapter here.
Photo courtesy of Project Open Hand.
Serving nutritious meals to those in need since 1985, Project Open Hand continues its work despite COVID-19. Healthy volunteers are invited to help prepare, package, and deliver food and groceries to critically ill and senior members of the community throughout San Francisco and Oakland. Check the POH website for needed shifts and other ways of donating to support the nonprofit’s continuous efforts.