5 Ways to Stay Engaged With Your Community During COVID-19

By S-L Street Team Members Madhumita Rao and Rosa Martinez

Over the last 11 months, life has been different due to the pandemic. Although on-site volunteering has decreased, it is still possible to engage with the community in other ways. In fact, this unprecedented time is when many organizations in the Boston area are understaffed and require more hands on deck! If you are looking for ways to stay involved in your local community safely, read on for some ideas.

  1. Virtual Volunteering

One of the best ways to continue giving back to the community is by volunteering remotely. Volunteermatch.org offers a plethora of options and even has tabs specifically for “Virtual Opportunities” and “COVID-19 Volunteering.” With the ability to choose the categories of volunteering that you want to engage in, you can easily match with an organization that you feel passionately about. 

Other organizations in the Boston area that are seeking remote volunteers include Boston Cares, Breakthrough Greater Boston, and JVS Boston. Many of these roles are teaching and tutoring roles. 

  1. Support Local Businesses

The pandemic has brought on the struggle of remaining financially stable for many small businesses and nonprofits. If you have the means, you can order from local businesses in the Boston area, such as Brookline Booksmith or Trident Booksellers and Cafe. Consider renting a movie from Coolidge Corner Theatre or the Brattle Theatre rather than Netflix! If you’re looking for fun hobbies, you can take a virtual cooking class through Create a Cook with your partner, friends, or family.

If you want to support local businesses, choosing to support black-owned ones in the Boston area is a great way to also promote the Black Lives Matter movement. 

  1. Donate Money

Donating money to community organizations is a great way to give back to the community during a pandemic. This semester Northeastern University partnered with dozens of community partners in the Boston area where hundreds of students dedicate time to volunteer at these organization sites. Many of these organizations have online platforms where you can donate money to support their missions. Here are a few organizations that Northeastern University has partnered with that are accepting donations:

  1. Donate Blood

You can still donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic. By donating blood, you can not only positively contribute to the public health community, but you’re also saving lives! The CDC encourages healthy people to donate blood if they can. Blood donations are commonly used for patients going through chemotherapy, patients who are diagnosed with sickle cell, and trauma victims. It is fast and easy. 

  1. Donate Food

 Lastly, donating food is a great way to contribute to your community. Boston and places around the United States have community fridges and food banks where you can donate canned or boxed goods for other people in need. There are drop-off locations all over the city including  Jamaica Plain and Brookline, and others that are opening soon in South Boston, Lynn, and Cambridge’s Harvard Square. Usually they have lists of what they need most, so look into that first!

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