By Jensen, Randy on March 27, 2020.
Looking for a diversion from the unending doom and gloom surrounding the coronavirus? Seeking to find ways to help the community in a time of crisis? Maybe you just want to feel empowered to do something positive? Look no further than the COVID Silver Linings Facebook page and new volunteer opportunities at Volunteer Lethbridge to help you and your neighbours get through this time of crisis together.
The COVID Silver Linings Facebook public page was started by Calgary resident Elizabeth Pratt just this week and already has about 500 members chatting together and showing the positive things they are doing to get through the coronavirus outbreak with body, mind and soul together.
“If your Facebook wall is anything like mine, or your news feed, it is full of the negative stories of coronavirus with all the hoarding and things like that,” explains Pratt. “There are a few token good stories mixed in there, but they are hard to find. The idea behind this group was creating a space where there is nothing but the positive stories, and the good which comes from the bad. It’s a nice, safe place to read some good news stories in a time that is anything but.”
It’s a great coping mechanism for those in social isolation due to the outbreak, and a much-needed spiritual boost to those in need of a pick-me-up, she says.
“It’s nice to feel you are contributing in your own way to helping people stay positive, and mentally fit and healthy,” Pratt says. “It’s a great place to recharge the batteries, and maybe brighten your day a little bit. The message we are trying to get across is this is something that’s affecting everybody. So everyone is in this together.”
For those wanting a more active, personal and direct engagement with that hopeful silver lining, Volunteer Lethbridge has created a new “A-Covid19” web listing for volunteer opportunities in the community, and is currently compiling a list of willing volunteers to meet those needs as they continue to come in.
“We are encouraging all non-profits and charitable organizations who require volunteers at this time to connect with Volunteer Lethbridge through our firstname.lastname@example.org email address,” says Volunteer Lethbridge executive director Diana Sim. “Once an organization contacts us through that email address they will receive a form listing the opportunities they are looking for volunteers for. Once we receive that information, we will populate and publish that on our website through our ‘A-Covid19’ banner.”
Volunteering is just as easy, but you have to get your name added to the Volunteer Lethbridge list and meet all screening requirements, she says.
“On the volunteer side, we are asking people to go to email@example.com,” she explains. “Once a volunteer registers to help out, we will send them an information form.”
Right now Volunteer Lethbridge is looking for those willing to do wellness checks with those who are most isolated or vulnerable in our community by phone.
“They will do wellness checks with those who are feeling isolated and discouraged,” Sim says. “For people who are home and isolated, and not really connected with an agency, they have the opportunity to register with Volunteer Lethbridge also at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know they want to be on the Wellness check list.”
Visit volunteerlethbridge.com to discover more about how you can help out in the community during the COVID-19 crisis. Or visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/663714731094152/ for more information on the COVID Silver Linings Facebook Group.
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