When our community is faced with a challenge, we raise our hands to help. I know many of you are wondering if you can still help, while being Safer at Home.
Many of the most essential functions that will help our neighbors through this crisis are supported by social service nonprofits and their volunteers – things like food banks, blood drives, and homebound meal deliveries. As these agencies work to address the increased need for services, I want to make it clear that volunteers will continue to play an essential role.
A large portion of our community’s most active volunteers are 65 and older and have been asked to take especially diligent precautions by staying home, even from their regular volunteer activities. These community leaders have set a stalwart example and now, more than ever, we need the younger generations to embody the spirit of their elders and volunteer.
Here are some things you can do — so long as you are healthy, not a member of a vulnerable population, and are meeting all advised public health requirements:
- Donate to food banks and volunteer to ensure our most vulnerable populations are still able to provide for their families. Much needed items include canned goods, peanut butter, toilet paper, antibacterial cleansers, and financial contributions.
- Volunteer with the American Red Cross to help distribute meals to students affected by school closures or as a volunteer blood donor to address the current blood shortage.
- Do neighbor check-ins. Offer to pick up groceries or medications for those who aren’t able to and stay connected by calling your neighbors, friends, and loved ones who might appreciate human connection despite social distancing.
- Consider virtual volunteer opportunities with organizations like L.A. Works.
- Check-in with your local homebound meal delivery programs. Many of them are scaling up to support the increased need and are looking for volunteers. Find a location near you and call to ask if they need assistance.
- Contribute to our L.A. Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund to support the City of L.A.’s efforts to support families, health care workers, small businesses, our unhoused neighbors, and more.
At this time, the City of Los Angeles is not implementing in-the-field volunteers in response to COVID-19. However, we recognize that many people will want to help if the need arises. If you’d like to help, sign up for the Community COVID-19 Response Volunteer Interest List below.
I’m grateful to everyone answering the call to help — for showing what it means to lead with L.A. love. We will get through this together. Thank you.