Covid-19 affects volunteering and donating

By: Sierra Hauer

   Because of the Coronavirus pandemic this year, many people have had to turn to alternative methods to volunteer and donate.

giving tree
The guidance counselors wrapped gifts for the Giving Tree. Photo courtesy: Jeremy Lenzi

   Times have been tough for everyone, but some people still want to do their part by donating what they can and volunteering as much as possible. However, regulations set to protect against Covid-19 have made these activities hard to do.

   “For me, personally, I have not seen many volunteer opportunities,” senior Ally Brumley said. “I coach youth cheer every year and that was canceled. At the New Haven Court at Linwood, no volunteers are allowed in.”

   Many volunteer opportunities have been canceled because of Covid-19, but there are many ways that people can still help.

   “I think that people who were already struggling to provide for their families have been affected the most by Covid-19,” senior National Honor Society Vice President Ella Johnson said. “Because many people have lost their jobs and aren’t getting the same wages that they used to, the number of people in need has risen. I feel like homeless shelters aren’t getting enough attention.”

   While there are many new restrictions, food banks are still operating and need volunteers. And there are plenty of other things that people can do to help the community.

   “I know it’s cliché, but I think charity begins in our own homes,” librarian Mrs. Carrie Vottero said. “We can all help out and be kind and empathetic to the people we live with. Something as simple as checking on your neighbor, calling a friend and making sure they don’t need anything or speaking with someone you know who might be lonely and isolated. We all need to be taking care of each other.”

   Along with reaching out to those closest to someone, it is always a good idea to send a little bit of love to those who need it. Seniors in nursing homes are particularly isolated right now.

   “I think that sending letters to nursing homes can help because they are unable to see their families right now or other people in the home,” senior Jenna Stillitano said. “They need some joy in their lives.”

   Elderly people specifically are much more vulnerable to Covid-19, so volunteering has been very strict. However, community members could always make cards and write letters to brighten up the days of those in nursing homes.

   “So many [nursing home] residents are upset or confused as to why they aren’t able to see their families,” Brumley said. “Little things truly are making their days. A simple card would genuinely mean so much to them.”

   Simple gestures as small as sending a card have been cheering people up all year long. Volunteering and donating usually spreads lots of cheer, as well.

   “The holidays are always a big time for donating and volunteering specifically because there are less fortunate people in the world that need help or a little extra holiday spirit,” Brumley said. “And this year it is so important because there is no sense of normalcy.”

stocking stuffers
National Honor Society Vice President Ella Johnson collected stocking stuffers for the Giving Tree. Photo courtesy: Ella Johnson

   Helping those in need always tends to make people feel better, especially nowadays.

   “Being kind feels good,” Mrs. Vottero said. “There is great satisfaction in helping someone else. This pandemic makes me feel helpless and unable to control my world. Helping someone else makes me feel as if I have some control over what happens to me and someone I love. For me, helping someone else makes me feel as if I can do something, at least in my small corner of the world, to make the world a better place.”

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