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3 Ways to Help Your Community During the Global Pandemic

With a health crisis this big, it’s easy to feel helpless—but there’s a lot you can do to lift your community up during these tough times.

With a health crisis this big, it’s easy to feel helpless—but there’s a lot you can do to lift your community up during these tough times.  

Raise your hand if you feel like you’ve been caught in an endless cycle of bad news lately. During these strange times, when staying home is the norm and avoiding close contact is advised, you may feel cut off from your community. Where usually you’d be the first person to offer help when others around you are hurting, these days the rules of engagement are less clear. But actually, now is a perfect time to lend a helping hand. Volunteers are needed in churches, care centers, and even in the quest to find a COVID-19 vaccine. Before you sit down for another Netflix binge, consider one of these feel-good opportunities instead: 


Volunteer at Your Church  

Or community center. Or senior care. Or youth club. There are plenty of organizations that need big-time help right now, and you can start by calling and asking how you can pitch in. For example, senior programs may need help delivering groceries to the elderly who are at too high a risk to shop for themselves. You might also help your community center organize a contactless food, book, or diaper drive, where residents drop off essential goods and volunteers redistribute to those in need. And some youth programs may need virtual tutors or people who can read to kids who are learning at home.  


Volunteer to Help Frontline Workers  

Believe it or not, some community hospitals and health clinics are still in short supply of protective equipment like masks and gloves. Try calling around to hair and nail salons and ask if they have any extra gloves or masks they’d be willing to donate, and asking friends in other towns to do the same. Another idea: Plan a backyard get-together with your girlfriends (socially distanced, of course) where you can tap into your creative side and try making your own masks to give out.  


Volunteer with the COVID-19 Prevention Network 

COVID-19 affects everyone, but it is disproportionately impacting Black/African American and Latinx people. If you’re interested in improving the health and safety of your community, consider joining a study with the COVID-19 Prevention Network. You, your friends, and family (who are ages 18 and over) can volunteer together to help find a successful vaccine that treats everyone. Step one is filling out a short online survey. If you are eligible for a study and there is a study enrolling near you, a representative will contact you so you can learn more about the research being done and determine your eligibility to participate.  

Your couch might be calling, but getting out to volunteer can feed your soul. Contact your local church, civic center, and hospital to find out how you can help during a time when we’re all feeling pretty far apart.  

Click here to learn more about the COVID-19 Prevention Network.  

If you need assistance, please call 866-288-1919 


COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) was formed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the US National Institutes of Health to respond to the global pandemic. Using the infectious disease expertise of their existing research networks and global partners, NIAID has directed the networks to address the pressing need for vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against SARS-CoV-2. 

AARP does not endorse nor is it associated with any clinical studies.  AARP makes no recommendation as to a consumer’s involvement with this advertiser nor its clinical study.  When visiting advertiser’s website you will be subject to advertiser’s privacy policy and terms and conditions

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