October 22nd, 2020

Volunteering during a pandemic


By Submitted Article on March 30, 2020.

SUBMITTED BY VOLUNTEER LETHBRIDGE

It is in times of urgency and crisis when people see ways they can help through volunteering. Below are some tips on safety and how you can connect with volunteer opportunities during these unprecedented times.

Safety:

1) Protect and Monitor Your Health:

a. Be sure to follow the guidelines from public health officials as well as local and provincial health authorities to see how to identify symptoms, practise social distancing and if you should self-isolate. If you are not feeling well, stay at home. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer; you will just have to do it from home.

2) Preparing to Volunteer:

a. If possible avoid public transit to your volunteer opportunity.

b. Bring hand-sanitizer or disinfectant wipes.

3) While Volunteering:

a. Avoid direct physical contact.

b. If you cannot avoid direct physical contact, ensure you have been provided with the necessary personal protection equipment.

c. Cough or sneeze into your arm.

d. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, hands and face.

e. If you start to feel uncomfortable or unwell at any time, inform your contact for the opportunity and take the necessary protocols as outlined by the public health authorities.

Volunteer Opportunities:

1) Are you healthy and able to go out? Reach out to the people in your community that you know, that may not be able to go out.

a. Offer to buy their groceries and delivery them.

b. Pick up/deliver their medication.

c. Take out their garbage can.

d. Leave them an encouraging note/card in their mailbox or hang it on their door.

e. Or just give them a call to see how they are doing.

2) Volunteer Lethbridge has created a profile page on their website as a landing spot for all volunteer opportunities that have come to their awareness during the COVID-19 pandemic. To list your volunteer needs on this site, email Aileen at >outreach@volunteerlethbridge.com. To apply for the opportunities, visit their website at http://www.volunteerlethbridge.com. Be sure to check daily.

3) Virtual Volunteering.

a. Organizations: There are many types of opportunities that can be created to help your organization that can be done online or virtually; social media assistant, public relations assistant, administrative.

b. Volunteers: Search for virtual, remote or volunteer opportunities you can do from home.

Mental Health:

1) With the help of several foundations and trusts, AHS has launched the >Text4Hope program, which aims to help provide encouragement and hope to Albertans. Text4Hope sends subscribers text messages of support in the hope of easing stress or anxiety. Albertans can text >COVID19Hope to 393939 >to subscribe, and they will receive daily text messages on how to focus on healthy thinking or suggested actions to help them manage their mood.

For more information on this program visit https://www.albertahealth

services.ca/.

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