By Courtney McEllen & Marion Brunken
Alexandria, VA – Let 2021 be the year of kindness and recovery. One easy way to spread kindness to others and throughout your community is by volunteering! Volunteering is providing time and skills to benefit other people and causes rather than for personal financial gain. If you have some time, please consider volunteering to help a family or an individual.
Volunteering can take many forms and be adapted to your availability, efforts, and abilities. Distributing food or gift cards, providing legal assistance, working in a daycare, teaching ESL or computer skills, and giving vaccine shots are just some of the ways you can help others in our community during this pandemic.
Many of the nonprofits we work with have resumed programming and are recruiting volunteers to assist with (mostly virtual) implementation. We need people of all backgrounds, gender, religions, and skillsets.
Volunteer Alexandria lists opportunities that include
· sharing information with youth about substance abuse,
· helping autistic adults refine their resumes and prepare for job interviews,
· coaching others,
· cleaning parks,
· writing words of encouragement to first responders and health care workers,
· producing podcasts.
Do you have experience in finance, managing budgets, or carpentry? Many nonprofits are seeking skilled volunteers from a variety of backgrounds to help achieve their missions.
Although the pandemic has changed how we interact with one another, there are still ways you can get involved. For example, Brad and Finn Harman shovel snow for seniors. Ans sewed masks for the community, and learned a new skill by doing so. The Cockerham family decorated envelopes for a holiday sharing program. Margaret Powell collects masks to distribute to the community, thereby ensuring that people who need them stay safe. She also crocheted 30 scarves to give to others. “I am honored to have the means to help people in need,” Margaret said.
As we work to ensure that our programming is safe during the pandemic, we continue to serve our community. Visit www.VolunteerAlexandria.org for volunteer opportunities for you and your family, to learn how to get involved, and to donate.