As the country remains at a social-distancing standstill, not only are vulnerable people in need of essential items, companionship, and care, but many more fortunate individuals are finding themselves with more time on their hands and a feeling that they should be doing more to give back to the community. And while opportunities are limited due to quarantine measures, now there’s a way eager volunteers can help their communities straight from their couch.
Thanks to a brand-new website Volunteer From Your Couch, people with an itch to make a difference can easily connect with organizations that need help to serve people affected by COVID-19.
The platform that powers this new “marketplace of action” is called Mobilize, a volunteer recruitment platform, which has responded to the current situation by making its technology available and free for groups responding to the coronavirus.
To understand how it works, take the example of a local Meals on Wheels organization in Northern Kentucky which, through the website’s platform, has managed to put volunteers in contact with seniors to see whether they’re in need of food — or simply to provide them with some human connection in a lonely time.
The pandemic has also redefined what a “volunteer” can mean. For No Vet Alone, a charity that offers assistance to military vets and first responders suffering from PTSD, volunteering could mean anyone from around the country joining new virtual happy hours or online yoga sessions, to provide vets with the company and meaningful connection.
The Mobilize platform has greatly facilitated outreach to vulnerable people most affected by the coronavirus, but it has also proved equally worthwhile for volunteers, many of whom are also lonely now.