The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for many people, like the elderly and financially vulnerable. For those people, recovery won’t come quickly.
The good news is, there’s a range of things you can do to make a difference either from your laptop or your living room. And being kind to others will make you feel better too. A side benefit of doing good is that you can feel in control.
Here are seven easy ways to help from a distance.
Shop for the isolated
After the outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States of America, a Honours student from the University of Nevada decided to call on volunteers to help elderly people get their groceries. Her initiative, Shopping Angels, has since spread to Australia, allowing volunteers from around the country to sign up via their Facebook page.
Or you can do a letter drop in your neighbourhood, letting the people around you know how you can be contacted and that you’re always happy to help if needed. It’s also a great way to get to know the people around you.
Check in with the elderly
Whether they’re living alone or in an aged care facility, a daily phone call to an elderly person can go a long way. The Red Cross are presently seeking volunteers for their Telecross service, which provides regular check-in calls to elderly or disabled clients.
Manage a charity’s social media
Running a charity can be a huge task, and often volunteers won’t have the time or know-how to properly run their social media. A regularly monitored and updated social media feed can make a huge difference, helping to get the word out about events, initiatives and volunteering opportunities. Both Volunteering Victoria and Seek’s volunteering database will reveal a range of charities and organisations currently looking for people with social media savvy.
Lend your expertise to a project
If social media isn’t your specialty, then don’t worry. Many volunteering and non-profit organisations are looking for people with a wide range of skills. Develop a website. Help write a grant. Your skill set could make a major contribution. Check out Vollie —a treasure trove of online volunteering opportunities, allowing you to assist organisations from all over the world.
Knit trauma teddies
Want to bring some warmth to a young person experiencing tough times? The Red Cross’ Trauma Teddies initiative lets volunteers create hand-crafted teddies for vulnerable children across Australia.
Be the eyes for the blind
The innovative Be My Eyes app lets you assist a blind or low-vision person through a live-video call. You’ll be able to help with tasks that many of us take for granted, whether it’s reading instructions, checking an expiry date or navigating unfamiliar surroundings.
Make pouches for injured animals
People aren’t the only ones in need at the moment. Due to the recent bushfire devastation, many animals are still being rescued and nursed back to health. Knit a pouch for a rescued joey or a blanket for an injured bat. It’s a fun way to turn a household hobby into an act of generosity. WIRES and the Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network are just a couple of the organisations currently offering online knitting instructions and accepting donations by mail.
At La Trobe, we value leadership, volunteering and community contributions. Our Aspire Early Admissions Program recognises both past and present volunteering experience, rewarding eligible students with an early offer to a La Trobe undergraduate degree. You could even win a $20,000 Aspire scholarship.
Get rewarded for your volunteering with an Aspire early offer. Find out more on the website.