BVU Resource Center

 

Ways volunteers can give back to their communities during a time of community disruption.

We connect passionate people with opportunities to serve.

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Volunteer Opportunity Updates

 

We will continue updating this page with opportunities as we learn about them. If you have a volunteer opportunity that you want to share with us, please email henglander@bvuvolunteers.org

Remember, whereas BVU believes everyone has something to share, we also maintain that it is critical to do so in accordance with the CDC’s recommendations and your own health and safety.

Volunteering during the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

History has shown that in times of need, strong communities unite to share resources and weather the storm, together. The Coronavirus and social distancing has upended the traditional model of collaboration. How can we pull together during a time when we are advised to stay apart? By everyone doing what they can.

As a part of our mission to strengthen Northeast Ohio, BVU will continue to connect businesses and the community to the nonprofits who need their help. BVU has dedicated this page to ways businesses and community members can share their time and resources specifically in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak. As you know, things are changing frequently so we urge you to check this site regularly for updates and new information.

It is important that each business and community member respond in a way that is safe and appropriate for you. BVU is not endorsing any one particular way of volunteering. Rather we want to encourage you to feel empowered knowing that all of us can make a difference in our own way.


 

Ways You Can Volunteer

 

Virtual Volunteering

  • When you think about volunteers, the typical image of a team planting a community garden, revitalizing a local park or painting a lively mural at a school comes to mind. Yet all around the globe, at any given time, thousands (if not millions) of engaged citizens volunteer virtually — using their computers, the Internet, even their smart phones. Click here to view Points of Light’s Virtual Volunteer Opportunities
  • Teletutor with Seeds of Literacy: Volunteers are needed to tutor adult literacy students via telephone. No experience needed, training will be provided. Click HERE for more information.

 

Organizations that need on-site volunteers:

  • American Red Cross Blood: Donate Blood: Visit American Red Cross Blood Service  find dates & locations.
  • Blood Drive Help: Volunteers are needed as administrative screeners, temperature takers (of volunteers and donors), and drivers to transport blood. Reach out to Gail Wernick at gail.wernick@redcross.org / 216.431.3370 for more information
  • Local Food Banks: UPDATE With the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order in effect, all Volunteer Events at local Food Banks have been cancelled and are instead being operated with staff and the National Guard to ensure food is being packed and distributed out to families during this time of need. We will update this listing once volunteers are permitted again.
  • March Hope Day 3/28/20: Food Distribution: A small group of volunteers will hand out fresh produce, dry food, and hygiene products. Click HERE for more information and to register to volunteer.
  • May Dugan Center: Food Distribution.  We are currently reviewing and revising our food distribution methods to ensure safe procedures moving forward. More details will follow this press release.  Please continue to check our website at www.maydugancenter.org, social media, or call 216-631-5800 for updates.
  • The Hunger Network: Become a Food Rescue Hero or pack and distribute food at one of 72 Hunger Centers by contacting  help@hungernetwork.org or call (216) 619-8155

 

Donations Needed: Click HERE to see a list of all the donations needed from local Northeast Ohio nonprofits

 

Become a Pro Bono Volunteer: BVU connects individuals with specialized skills and talents to strengthen the infrastructure of a nonprofit. Experts from human resources, technology, finance, marketing, real estate, law and other professions are needed to help nonprofits with specific projects. To become a Pro Bono volunteer, click HERE.

 

How to help from your home:

  • Be a friendly neighbor – Spend a little extra time on your phone by calling neighbors and others who need to hear a friendly voice.
  • Creative card makers – Drop off cards or a small token of cheer to brighten someone’s day who will be socially isolated during this time (remember that most living facilities are not receiving visitors to keep their residents safe, but you can still send a card!)
  • DIY Volunteer Opportunities from Points of Light. Check out this list of projects you can do from home (great for families and youth too!)
  • Foster shelter animals. Many shelters have already had to close to the public or cancel events, and many others may need to do so in the coming days ― meaning fewer pets are being adopted out, even as animals continue to come in. Shelters want to move as many animals as possible off the premises and into foster homes, in case they’re hit with staffing shortages as employees and volunteers get sick or need to self-quarantine. Find a shelter or rescue organization near you.
  • Help seniors or others who are isolated – check in with them to see what they need; make sure they have the food and medication they need, offer reading materials (books, magazines) you may have, etc.
  • Help seniors or others who are isolated – The National Council on Aging offers tips to help older adults: check in with them to see what they need, make sure they have the food and medication they need, offer reading materials (books, magazines) you may have and more.
  • Help combat social isolation/lonelinessMake regular phone or video call visits, make cards or write letters, emails, or social media messages to seniors in nursing homes who cannot have visitors.
  • Help people with reading barriers: BookShare.org helps people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading. Volunteers scan and proofread additions for their online library.
  • Show the environment a little love – Take a “Litter Walk” or start planning your “bee-friendly” garden to bring back the pollinators
  • Start your spring-cleaning early – Set aside clothes, books, and other household items to be donated (please check with agencies before dropping them off. Some can receive items now whereas others will not be able to start accepting donations until after the outbreak slows down)

 

Special Requests for Businesses

Provide Space for Blood Drives

Reserves of blood are rapidly being depleted and the American Red Cross needs to keep hosting Blood Drives to replenish them. Businesses can help by offering space.

A good space for Blood Drives has the following attributes:

  • Space to set up a blood donation facility
  • A space of ~1,000+ (larger is better)
  • Space with restroom facilities
  • Wide open parking

Please contact Tim O’Toole at timothy.otoole@redcross.org / 216.431.3661 if you have space available.

Help the Hospitals

We are beginning to hear from our hospitals and health care providers on their needs to help us provide critical care and to protect our health care workers as they support patients.

I have a request from one of our hospitals for a PORTABLE U/V LIGHT to help sterilize used PPE.  Looking for that equipment for loan, rent or purchase.  If your company or a company you work with can provide this please contact Steve Millard at (216) 401-0935 or at smillard@greaterakronchamber.org.

In addition, we are looking for companies to retool or refocus efforts on increasing personal protective equipment production.  Swabs for test kits, face shields, N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, goggles and medical gowns.

There are several organizations including the Emergency Management Agency, MAGNET, and hospital procurement specialists helping with this conversion, including provision of specs, raw materials and consultation.

If you can help in this regard or want to learn more, let us know at covid19@greaterakronchamber.org and we will connect you with the right people.

Volunteer Request Form

 

BVU will continue to connect businesses and the community to the nonprofits who need their help

Fill out the form below with any additional volunteer requests