With COVID-19, seniors have had to give up many of their volunteering opportunities because of health and safety considerations and social distancing restrictions. Here is a list of organizations who are looking for assistance this season, both in-person and virtually.
The community organization has compiled a Holiday Ten Weeks of Service Guide filled with timely suggestions for holiday volunteering and giving. In addition, their nonprofit partners maintain an updated list of their holiday needs on their website.
The Arlington nonprofit that serves the communities most vulnerable members is looking for volunteers in several capacities. A Refuge Youth Mentor helps refugee youth navigate their new communities, helping with professional development, academic guidance and civic engagement; a VRSAP Assistant orients and enrolls new families in local schools, monitors student’s academic progress and serves as a communication liaison between schools and parents; and a Conversation Partner help at-home moms hone their English conversation skills. (Because of the pandemic these roles are currently done virtually by phone, FaceTime and Zoom.) They are also looking for food sorters and stockers in Manassas to support local pantries.
If you love to organize items or have a keen eye for pricing, volunteer at ReStore in Alexandria, Chantilly and Herndon Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers help organize inventory, price donations, assist customers with finding items, create or improve displays and more. All shoppers and volunteers are asked to wear a mask while in the ReStores to provide a safe environment for all.
The iconic organization is recruiting volunteers for its Red Kettle Campaign, a long-standing holiday tradition that raises funds to benefit local families and individuals in need. Volunteers choose their locations and time slots and then ring the iconic Salvation Army Bell. COVID-19 safety measures include a mask requirement and sanitizing supplies (provided) to keep the kettle and bell clean.
The organization is holding a Virtual Food Drive through Nov. 30 to benefit Manassas Mobile Home Park, whose residents have been severely impacted by the loss of jobs and income due to COVID-19. Donations will help to replenish their community food pantry.
House of Mercy is a non-profit food pantry, donation center and thrift store located in Manassas that runs primarily on hard-working volunteers during its hours of Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can apply on their website; applicants are subject to a background check
ACTS (Action in Community Through Service) needs volunteers in the Hunger Prevention Center, Thrift Store, Thrift Donation Center and the Kao Warehouse, with no training needed for these roles. Volunteers complete and submit the online application, receive an email confirmation and simply arrive during program hours of operation, let the on-site program manager know they are there to volunteer and staff will put you to work. Check the website for detailed information about the duties for each role. There is also an Adopt-a-Day program, where volunteers provide breakfast, lunch or dinner and after-school snacks for children staying at the Beverly Warren Shelter. The meals are dropped off at their facility and the staff will serve it.
There are several current needs. Build a Passion Kit themed around a hobby or interest you are passionate about to be distributed to a child in your community, which is a project collaboration with PASTA (Peers and Students Taking Action). Tree of Life is looking for help filling their food pantry. And tutors are needed at Embark Center for Self-Directed Education.
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