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By: Shayla Thiel Stern

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How Can You Help?

disaster help

In this uncertain time, so many of us find comfort in trying to help in whatever way possible. ServeMinnesota has compiled a short list of resources for AmeriCorps members and citizen volunteers and donors so we can all do whatever we can in a time that our communities are in need.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Hands On Twin Cities is constantly updating its websites with calls for volunteers of all ages for many different types of organizations. Many opportunities even work for people who are quarantined, from creating care packages for people with disabilities or making cheerful cards for isolated older adults: https://www.handsontwincities.org/need/

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless has created a list of nonprofits seeking volunteers to help during the COVID-19 crisis — from cooks to food delivery drivers across the state: https://www.oyh.org/current-nonprofit-volunteer-needs/

RESOURCES FOR VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT COORDINATORS

Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) has gathered resources to help address challenges as people leading volunteer efforts in the time of COVID-19: https://mava.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=286912&module_id=392708&actr=4

THE MINNESOTA AMERICORPS EMERGENCY RESPONSE INITIATIVE

We will be taking applications for people to join the Minnesota AmeriCorps Emergency Response Initiative by May 20, 2020. Members will serve June 8 to Aug. 15, 2020, and will be placed in positions associated with organizations’ response to COVID-19, including emergency food distribution, help for older adults and homeless people, distance learning and more. Learn more and apply here.

CURRENT NONPROFIT IN-KIND NEEDS

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless also has an ongoing list of nonprofit organizations seeking in-kind donations, many of which are asking for cleaning supplies and canned goods: https://www.oyh.org/current-nonprofit-in-kind-needs/

CHECK ON NEIGHBORS (SAFELY)

Upworthy offers a printable sign that you can hang on the doorknobs of neighbors to let them know you are available to help them. View and download here: https://www.upworthy.com/free-printable-neighbors-coronavirus

GIVE BLOOD

The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Visit the Red Cross website to learn about where you can donate blood.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CURRENT AMERICORPS MEMBERS

AmeriCorps members who are currently unable to serve at the sites they were originally assigned because of closures (schools, community centers, etc.) have been given permission to switch service to other sites in need during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.

They may be supporting schools and communities in disaster relief activities related to COVID-19 closures and social distancing procedures. This service may include preparing and serving school meals, assisting community organizations or schools in maintaining a safe and educational environment for displaced students, developing and implementing distance learning solutions for students, as well as engaging in these activities for the wider community affected by coronavirus closures.

Additional activities may include supporting the local community with food insecurity, social isolation, including collaboration with Senior Corps, and social distancing appropriate service, including environmental or housing support services.

AmeriCorps members should be working with their program managers to identify how they can help in a new form of service at this time. They should contact their program managers if they have questions.

To learn more about ServeMinnesota’s response to COVID-19, read this blog post.

Do you want to make a donation to ServeMinnesota? Visit our “Donations” page to learn how you can support us.

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