As we practice social distancing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are thinking about how to give back through volunteering. Nonprofit organizations will rely on community support more than ever once life returns to “normal” and we’re eager to support the organizations serving our fellow Alaskans.
Here are a few ways to volunteer virtually today, or plan your future community service projects.
Covenant House Alaska
Covenant House is currently offering several ways to virtually volunteer. The organization relies heavily on volunteers to connect with homeless youth. An easy way to support their residents is writing a letter encouraging youth to continue the job search and move out on their own.
Covenant House is the state’s largest homeless shelter for at-risk youth and provides meals, medical care and employment counseling, among other services. Located down the street from our Anchorage office, it’s near and dear to our hearts. Our own President & CEO Jennifer Thompson even regularly participates in its Executive Sleep Out.
Food Bank of Alaska
The Food Bank of Alaska is working overtime and in need of volunteers to help with food distribution to families in need at pantries across the state. Volunteers cannot have traveled outside of the state for 14 days prior to service and should not show up if they feel unwell.
Gloves will be provided and volunteers are encouraged to wear a mask (homemade or N95). Another way to help is to organize a food drive. As we spend more time at home, now is the perfect time to get creative and challenge our friends, families and neighbors to get involved, from a safe distance, of course.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska
Calling all men! Big Brothers Big Sisters Alaska says “more than 70% of youth waiting for a Big are boys, but only three out of every 10 volunteer inquiries come from men.” Men can sign up today and fill the critical need to mentor young people in our community.
A Big Brother, Big Sister or Big Couple will mentor a young person for one year. Activities are determined by common interests between the Big and Little. Check out BBBS’ other volunteer opportunities to see how you can help from home right now.
Last Frontier Honor Flight
Twice a year, this organization flies Alaska war veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to and honoring their sacrifices. To make their missions possible, they rely on volunteers to assist veterans with mobility from place to place.
We first connected with Last Frontier Honor Flight through our pro bono public relations outreach campaign for Alaska nonprofits and now we’re interested in spreading the word about how you can become involved. Although the April trip was rescheduled, you can apply today to become a guardian and escort our heroes on their next mission in October.
Other Alaska individual volunteer opportunities to consider in the next year include:
- Becoming an Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race volunteer. Apply to help with the start, restart, along the trail, or at the finish line in Nome.
- Helping at Special Olympics Alaska competitions by coaching an athlete or becoming a volunteer, Unified Partner or Sports Commissioner.
- Volunteering with Identity Inc. and Anchorage Pride. They will need people to assist with Pride later this summer and in other volunteer events throughout the year.
The nonprofit sector was hit especially hard by COVID-19. Many organizations are experiencing a depletion in funding, resources and volunteer hours. Whether you’re able to help now or in the future by donating time or raising money, consider giving back through these important community services.
At T&C, our Tenets & Convictions challenge us to be grateful and give back to the communities that have given us so much. We can’t wait to be reunited with our community to do just that.
– Ashleigh Ebert