My mom has always been very social. After my father passed away three years ago, she struggled without him. Just when she was getting back on her feet, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. Since then, she has been forced to remain mostly isolated.
While she recently received her first COVID-19 vaccine, we know it will take a few months until she can be out and about again. Our family members routinely check in with her using Zoom and Skype, but it’s just not enough. I’m trying to find something she can do from home that will help her feel connected and purposeful.
Do you have any suggestions? I’m sure you’ve probably heard this question before and have some ideas.
Krista in Saginaw, MI
Encouraging Virtual Volunteerism during National Volunteer Week
Your question is a timely one! National Volunteer Week begins on April 18. Research shows seniors who lend their time and talent to a cause close to their heart reap a variety of mental and physical health benefits. From fewer incidences of depression to less risk of heart disease, volunteering might be the perfect solution for your mother.
There are plenty of organizations looking for virtual volunteers. Since your mother seems comfortable using technology, there will be even more opportunities open to her. Here are a few suggestions for connecting.
First, contact the United Way agency nearest to your mother’s home. They might know of local nonprofits looking for remote volunteers. When the coronavirus is behind us, she might be able to lend her time to the organization in person.
If you don’t have any luck with that option, there are a variety of national organizations you can explore. Two with easy-to-navigate volunteer websites are:
- VolunteerMatch: This nonprofit organization has been matching volunteers with agencies in need since 1998. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, their number of virtual volunteer opportunities increased to over 600,000 nationwide! Your mom could choose to be an eBook Buddy to a child who needs help reading. She might also be interested in writing social media posts for a nonprofit animal rescue or anti-bullying organization. There are volunteer projects for every interest imaginable.
- Points of Light Foundation: A global leader in nonprofit development, Points of Light Foundation also works to inspire and expand volunteer communities. They, too, have expanded the number of virtual projects volunteers can connect with. You can search their database for both short-term and long-term tasks your mother might be interested in.
I hope this gives you and your mother some useful ideas, Krista!
Heritage Senior Communities in Michigan and Indiana
A family-owned senior living provider for four generations, Heritage Senior Communities has locations throughout Michigan and one in Indiana. If you have questions about independent living, assisted living, or memory care, call the Heritage community nearest you to talk with one of our team members. We are always happy to help!