Give Back to Your Community during National Volunteer Week

Published on March 31, 2021 in

Whether safely in person or virtually, we want to make it easy for people to make a meaningful impact in their community during National Volunteer Week.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan has partnered with community organizations across Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to offer opportunities during the week, which takes place April 18-24. This year, we’re encouraging people to volunteer safely — whether that’s via virtual or remote volunteerism such as DIY kit building projects or in-person volunteer opportunities where COVID-19 safety protocols are in place.

Your volunteer efforts are more important now than ever. While the needs of families in our community have grown due to the pandemic, funding and staffing at our partner nonprofits like homeless shelters and food pantries is limited. Volunteers are crucial to making sure that everyone who needs help can get it.

Keep reading for some current volunteer opportunities, or visit the National Volunteer Week Landing Page on the United Way Volunteer Portal to find more.

Assemble health and wellness packages for HAVEN

HAVEN is hosting a unique fundraiser in April called the Health and Wellness Virtual Experience. The organization is partnering with local vendors to assemble a package of health and wellness goodies for its donors, which will be paired with a virtual speaker and celebration, all of which will highlight HAVEN’s important mission. Volunteers are needed for package assembly, package delivery and package delivery coordination.

Share your expertise with seniors with Jewish Senior Life

Similar to Ted Talks, Jewish Senior Life is hosting “News & Schmooze”, a virtual program in which community volunteers can share their expertise or stories on interesting topics with seniors. JSL is asking volunteers to record videos of 5 to 20 minutes in length discussing the topic. The videos will be shared with seniors living in senior apartments.

Care for student gardens

Big Green Detroit has built 52 learning gardens at schools and community spaces across Metro Detroit, primarily in low-income areas. In these gardens, Big Green Detroit help kids dig into their education, thrive with real, nutritious foods and healthy habits, and become active participants in strengthening their communities. Individual volunteers and small groups can help care for these gardens, with planting, weeding, and other general maintenance. Due to COVID-19 precautions, students are less able to actively participate in caring for these gardens, so volunteers are needed more than ever.

Share your clerical skills with Ascension at Home Hospice

Ascension at Home is looking for caring, competent volunteers to assist with a variety of clerical responsibilities at its Warren office. Clerical duties may include filing, typing, copying, data entry, assisting with mailings and making start-of-care packets – a great addition to your growing resume or a great way to keep busy in retirement. Volunteer schedule is tailored to fit your availability.

Ascension at Home is also looking for volunteers to provide in-home visits to hospice patients. Your caring presence allows family members the chance to run errands or keep appointments – or lonely patients to have visits from a new friend. This program provides virtual training to volunteers and offers ongoing education, recognition and support with flexible hours.

Help those affected by COVID-19 find assistance through United Way

We are recruiting volunteers to field requests related to COVID-19 through our 2-1-1 call center. Volunteers will be trained to answer phones and direct callers to the appropriate resources. We provide training, scripts and supplemental materials to all volunteers, and while call center experience is beneficial, it’s not required for this opportunity.

Build a DIY Learning at Home Kit for students in need

In southeastern Michigan, one in three families struggles to afford their basic needs — and that’s rising due to the COVID-19 crisis. On top of this, families are taking on the burden of managing most educational needs from home. Building a DIY Learning at Home Kit is a great way to ensure families have important educational items to fuel learning from home. Kits are needed for early education, K-2 and grades 3-5.

Visit the United Way Volunteer Portal for more ways to help

The National Volunteer Week Landing Page on the United Way Volunteer Portal includes all active opportunities available during National Volunteer Week, and we continue to work with our agency partners to add more opportunities in the coming weeks.