Good day everyone out there. I am taking a break from my regularly scheduled “StayHomeWriMo” entry today to bring you this resource. Right now, more than ever you may find yourself wanting to do something to help your community. So, I present to you, handy tips to lend a hand to local organizations during this time:
Stock up the Food Bank’s Pantry
Local food banks need extra help to keep their pantry’s stock. A piece of your toilet paper throne will go a long way. Many food banks accept household items, like cleaners, paper towels, even pet supplies. Research what items your food bank or donation center of your choice accepts as certain locations take items other locations cannot. As a regular volunteer at food banks, you would be shocked by how many items are thrown away but could have gone to better use. All intentions were good, but still better uses existed.
Some banks will post these lists to their website, others you may need to call and ask. A great example, I one time had a family buy 15 sandwich platters for our food bank. However, we can’t accept already prepared food that isn’t frozen or properly wrapped. These types of items are safe to send out to the community in the manner which we do. However, there is a lovely local school food bank that delivers just these very things every day at lunchtime. Friends, do your research and donate responsibly.
Meals on Wheels and Beyond
“Meals on Wheels” is a large international organization, but it’s often also a small part of larger organizations. My local senior care organization, includes “Meals on Wheels”, home visits, in-home therapies such as music therapy and counseling, doctor’s visits, etc. While yes, they accept food, but if you can’t make a monetary or food donation, many organizations accept hand made cards and personal notes. These go along way to anyone taking advantage of these services. Often times these cards and notes find homes on the side table next to someone’s favorite chair or on the refrigerator. Many recipients re-read these cards as they are the only thing keeping them going.
Food banks are considered “Essential” during “stay at home” orders, but please verify how this pertains to your community. I do know of some organizations are only using recurring volunteers at the moment, while others are only using paid employees. If you meet the requirements and you feel safe to do so, sign up for a volunteer shift.
Be sure to print out or have a screenshot of your volunteer shift handy. Should you get pulled over for violating the order pertaining to your community, this will prove you are essential. Some organizations are sending out letters to go alongside your volunteer shift. Read all the instructions thoroughly in your shift confirmation email as all the information you need is there. If you’re still unsure, you can call the organization’s office and they should be well versed in what you will need. Many food banks as I have noticed are altering shifts and work stations to adhere to social distancing standards, ie. 10 people in a gathering, sometimes shorter shifts).
Have a wonderful rest of the day, and if you will excuse me, I shall be off making cards for the community in which I am placed.