While the Gulf Coast is still ravaged by Hurricane Laura and California is gripped by wildfires, it can be easy to forget that locals are also in need. And for those who do wish to help, the pandemic continues to limit in-person opportunities for Houstonians to volunteer their time and resources.
To that end, United Way of Greater Houston is launching a series of virtual volunteer projects throughout the fall. On September 18 and continuing through the holiday season, the various projects offer a low-cost way to volunteer from the comfort of home.
Participants can join a virtual “day of action” on September 18 and November 13 that involves completing a project on the computer, at home or even the office, according to a press release. Completed projects can then be mailed to a local United Way partner agency or delivered in-person — in observance of COVID-19 safety standards.
Those who participate will be provided supply lists, by project, and instructions for the projects, which encompass the following categories:
Disaster response: Notes of encouragement for essential workers; hurricane preparedness kits; and care cards for seniors or families living in shelters
Basic needs: Assembly of breakfast bags for homebound senior citizens or snack packs for students who rely on school resources for meals; and activity kits to keep seniors engaged and busy while remaining isolated due to COVID-19
Remote learning: Assembly of at-home learning kits to provide students with necessary supplies to succeed while learning at home; donation of books or clean socks and underwear so students can focus on learning
The campaign also offers a “Give Back Bingo,” an interactive way to volunteer from home. The bingo card features projects that keep volunteers engaged with local nonprofits, support the needs of the community, and encourage daily acts of kindness.
Once participants complete five activities in a row between now and November 20, they can submit their card online and be entered to win a gift card.
“Many families and individuals in our community are facing the unknown when it comes to employment, school and staying safe and healthy, and we can come together virtually as a caring city to support them,” said Cory Rooney of United Way of Greater Houston, in a statement. “These volunteer projects are a great way to give back to those in need and get a better understanding of the work United Way does year-round to support our neighbors who are struggling.”