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The benefits of volunteering are infinite. To go out of your way to help others will not only benefit the recipients, but it will cause a ripple effect of kindness and continued service. 

We live in a scary world where misfortune occurs, but we have the opportunity to redeem society and make the world a better place. Don’t let the coronavirus take away the opportunity to help and engage with others! Here is a compiled list of COVID-19-friendly volunteering opportunities. 

Reach out to a nursing home

There are so many elderly people who are forced to remain in isolation and have very minimal social contact with others due to the coronavirus. Contact a nursing home to find out if they have any residents looking for a pen-pal or for someone to call them every week. It requires 30 minutes of your time and can truly lift someone’s spirits and make their day. 

    Join a service fraternity

    UF has so many incredible service fraternities whose sole purpose is to engage in service projects. Some UF service fraternities include: Epsilon Sigma Alpha Service Fraternity, Circle K International, UF Alpha Phi Omega and more! 

    Raise money for a cause you care about

    You don’t need to raise massive amounts of money to make a difference. Do something small: sell bracelets, hold car washes or have a bake sale. People are much more likely to donate to you if you show passion and commitment toward a cause. There are so many fun and creative ways to raise money, especially for a cause you are invested in.

      Send cards to first responders

      Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders have become the world’s superheroes. Take time to write a heartfelt thank-you note to a first responder and ensure that first responders in your community are being acknowledged.

      Make care packages

      Amid the coronavirus, visitors are restricted from entering hospitals. As a result, many children in hospitals are lonely and bored. Make a fun care package consisting of games, coloring books, treats and other ways for children to keep themselves entertained. 

      Homeless people can also greatly benefit from supplies. Contact a local homeless shelter and ask what supplies they could benefit from the most. Local Gainesville shelter GRACE is collecting blankets, hygiene kits, clothing and much more

      Donate blood

      If you are feeling healthy and meet all the requirements, donating blood is an easy way to make a difference. There are usually blood trucks around campus that make donating blood very convenient.

        Be there for others

        Let people know that you are there for them. Quarantining alone can be very difficult and isolating for people. Check up on your friends in insolation. Make sure a day doesn’t go by where they don’t talk to a friend. Ensure that no one is ever truly alone, even in isolation. 

        Due to the stress of the pandemic, many people are struggling with surging anxiety over everything that’s occurring in the world. Let others know that you understand them and that you are here for them. Be caring and empathetic.

        Although these suggestions may seem trivial, know that you are making a huge difference in someone else’s life and in your own life; volunteering and doing good fosters a community of kindness!

        Adina Hirsch is a sophomore at the University of Florida. She is studying economics and psychology in hopes to attend law school in the future to become a public defender. Adina is passionate about cold brew coffee, criminal justice, and new experiences.
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