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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Click here for related information.

Volunteer Center Serving Howard County staff has been temporarily furloughed.

Send all questions to info@volunteerhoward.org. Volunteer opportunities will be monitored as staffing permits. 

In this ever changing environment, follow the guidance of local authorities to protect yourselves and our community.

 

A message from the Volunteer Center Serving Howard (MD)

During our current State of Emergency, as in many disasters, many of us want to help others. At this point in time, volunteers with established response organizations with defined missions/tasks are being called upon first to serve community needs. 

As with many unplanned interruptions, registered partner organizations are balancing a variety of situations and needs. PLEASE be patient as they assess their needs, both client and staffing, and their ability to effectively and safely manage volunteers prior to requesting additional volunteer support.

In lieu of direct service:

  • Maintain physical distancing for your health and that of others.

  • Make a financial contribution to an established response or nonprofit organization. 

    • Ongoing needs other than those brought on by COVID-19 have not disappeared.

    • Supports local businesses to maintain services.

    • Allows nonprofits to buy items in bulk and meet specific needs.

  • Donate blood.

  • Check out virtual service/kindness projects.

  • Share positive messages.

  • Engage in self-care. 

  • Practice patience.

  • Participate in online preparedness courses. https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/Emergency-Preparedness

  • Register at VolunteerHoward.org/register and complete your skills profile (this allows us to provide a skilled volunteer search for requesting partners and invite you to participate in an opportunity).

Adhere to CDC safety guidelines and instructions provided by local and state authorities. Consider refraining from volunteering if you have experienced or are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. 

The recovery period from COVID-19 is likely to take a long time. Community nonprofits and social services will be stressed and tested. If your time and talents are not being requested today, they may be needed in the months ahead. Check back often for ways to help as the needs are ever changing.

Thank you to each and every one of you for following the guidance/recommendations/orders of our State and County officials. Physical distancing, washing your hands, avoiding large groups and connecting and reaching out to neighbors, friends and family on a regular basis ARE critical services at this time. The safety and welfare of our community are in our hands.

https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/

https://dart-md.communityos.org   (Maryland VOAD Disaster Aid Response Team)

https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Countywide-Updates

 

What can you do?

As we support the health and well-being of our communities through social isolation, we recognize that the desire to help others by giving back remains strong. In addition, the needs of our neighbors and communities grow in times of crisis.

As in all times of disaster:

  • Do NOT self-deploy. It is extremely important to adhere to the social isolation directive of the County Executive, Governor and President. 

  • Follow directions from local jurisdictions.

  • Check in with family, friends, neighbors and those without internet or social media access.

  • Provide cash donations to established local relief organizations. Cash is preferred. It assists the local economy and allows for the purchase of items in bulk and requested items.  HOCORespond.com

  • Learn more about assisting in times of disaster.

Currently there are very few posted opportunities to volunteer.  Know established relief organizations may find themselves overwhelmed with well intended volunteers and are NOT requesting additional volunteers. The necessity of social distancing and limited gathering size presents challenges and limitations.

Donate blood - The American Red Cross now faces a severe blood shortage.  Healthy individuals who are feeling well are needed to donate now. 

We ask those interested in volunteering to register with us as a volunteer and complete the skills profile. Completing the skills profile will allow us to know the skills of our volunteers and be able to reach out to you if those skills are needed.

Volunteer Center staff are working remotely to serve our local non-profits as they serve the community.   Volunteer opportunities will be posted as they become available. Check back periodically for volunteer needs and also follow our Facebook page. 

Governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/ (governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/)

Looking For Ways to Serve During COVID-19? 

Acts of Kindness

 

Additional information and resources:

Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism  (gosv.maryland.gov/coronavirus-resources/)

Howard County, MD Updates (https://www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/COVID-19-Coronavirus-Countywide-Updates)

Howard County Health Departmentt (www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Health/MM-Alerts-and-Recalls)

Ready.gov  (https://www.ready.gov)

 

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Current Needs

Happy Helpers Sandwich-Making

On this day, we gather at the 7-Eleven and travel to the Happy Helpers Headquarters, where we prepare sandwiches and goodies for the homeless. You can meet at Happy Helpers headquarters located at 1550 Catons Center Drive Halethorpe, MD 21227 at 11:30am. Note: To signup a volunteer that does not meet the minimum age only the minimum age with adult age, parents/adults need to create a team which includes themselves and the volunteer(s) that are under age. The parent/adult can then “sign up with a team” for the opportunity selecting the team members who will volunteer. Click here for more information related to Family & Youth Group Volunteers.

6/6/20 11:00 AM + more

Student Musicians needed for Virtual Concerts!!

All student musicians: You can volunteer in our virtual concerts while staying at home during COVID-19 panedmic Weekly Virtual Concerts have been held since April. Kindergarten to 12th grade Student Musicians Wanted for Virtual Concerts! **All music levels and music genres are welcome ** Do you like to sing? Do you play any instruments? Do you want to help the community by lifting up seniors in the assisted living facilities? Come and join Howard County High School UNMUTE student musicians to share your love and music with seniors!! Showcase your Classical, Jazz, Blues, Pop, Funk, Improv, Rock, Broadway, Folk, etc. talents!! Please stay at home to practice, record your performance video and send us the link to your YouTube performance video. Each student musician can submit up to two performance video in each virtual concert. Each performance should not exceed more than 15 minutes. We will present your wonderful performance video to senior residents who live in the assisted living facilities in Maryland. Student musicians can earn student service hours, light up lives and also help the community!! Let's U-N-M-U-T-E! (Please provide your email and cell phone number. We will contact you shortly with instructions about how to participate our virtual concerts.) Sign up below for a date to have your performance shared with senior residents. Any questions or comments, please email unmutemusician@gmail.com or call 301-247-3475.

6/13/20 11:00 AM + more

LENTIL Pop Up Food Pantry

ICA is proud to expand its FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM during the COVID-19 crisis from May 23 - June 28. ICA's POP-UP PANTRY will be distributing fresh food and grains at the MILLER LIBRARY in Ellicott City from 4-6 pm every Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers needed at 3:30pm for set-up until takedown at 6pm. Masks and Gloves provided. Questions? Call 410.567.6599 or email contact@icahoward.org We are thankful to so many for making this possible. All are welcome. As a community united, we can overcome any and all challenges.

6/6/20 3:30 PM + more

Give Seniors a Lift - Volunteer Orientation

Learn more about how you can make a difference in the lives of local seniors by providing rides for medical appointments, shopping, social outings and other needs. No set schedule is required. Simply provide the rides that are convenient to your home, office, and daily routines. Volunteers are welcome to bring their children along when volunteering for a fantastic family service experience. Volunteer Orientations are typically held in the Neighbor Ride office on Tuesdays at 9:30 am and one evening a month. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, however, volunteer orientations are temporarily cancelled. Please contact Patrice or Holly at volunteer@neighborride.org to be added to our contact list in order to receive updates on the status of volunteer orientations. In the meantime, be sure to check out our video to learn more about the Neighbor Ride Volunteer Experience. Note: To signup a volunteer that does not meet the minimum age only the minimum age with adult age, parents/adults need to create a team which includes themselves and the volunteer(s) that are under age. The parent/adult can then “sign up with a team” for the opportunity selecting the team members who will volunteer. Click here for more information related to Family & Youth Group Volunteers.

6/9/20 9:30 AM + more

Let the Music Play! (Virtual Opportunity)

Calling all musicians and vocalists! We LOVE music at Winter Growth and invite you to record and share your musical talents with the seniors and adults with disabilities we serve. Videos can be sent to colleen.konstanzer@wintergrowthinc.org. Once received, we’ll upload the videos to our YouTube channel, where they can be accessed and enjoyed by our residents as well as by our Day Program participants who are sheltering at home. Thank you for the smiles you'll bring!

Through 6/30/20

Pen Pal (Virtual Opportunity)

We are looking for virtual pen pals to connect with the seniors and adults with disabilities we serve. Write a note about a favorite vacation, share a silly story about a pet, tell us what life was like growing up in your neighborhood, or discuss anything else you’d like to share. The “letters” can be emailed to penpal.columbia@wintergrowthinc.org.

Through 6/30/20

Gardening & Farming

Volunteers with gardening and farm experience are needed to help tend the 6.4 acre organic farm on Harriet Tubman Lane (Columbia, MD).

Through 10/31/20

Host a Virtual Bone Marrow Drive on Behalf of There Goes My Hero

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, There Goes My Hero is looking for volunteers to run virtual bone marrow drives. Volunteers can order kits online and people can sign up with simple cheek swabs. Joining the registry can save lives! Since TGMH is unable to do in-person drives at the moment, virtual drives have never been more important. Volunteers can help organize swabbings from the comfort of their own homes, and all expenses are paid. To sign up/learn more please contact Executive Director Mary Kaye DiUbaldo at mary.kaye@theregoesmyhero.org. We hope that you'll help us continue to make sure that blood cancer patients in need of a transplant can get one.

Through 6/10/20

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Virtual Opportunities

Student Musicians needed for Virtual Concerts!!

All student musicians: You can volunteer in our virtual concerts while staying at home during COVID-19 panedmic Weekly Virtual Concerts have been held since April. Kindergarten to 12th grade Student Musicians Wanted for Virtual Concerts! **All music levels and music genres are welcome ** Do you like to sing? Do you play any instruments? Do you want to help the community by lifting up seniors in the assisted living facilities? Come and join Howard County High School UNMUTE student musicians to share your love and music with seniors!! Showcase your Classical, Jazz, Blues, Pop, Funk, Improv, Rock, Broadway, Folk, etc. talents!! Please stay at home to practice, record your performance video and send us the link to your YouTube performance video. Each student musician can submit up to two performance video in each virtual concert. Each performance should not exceed more than 15 minutes. We will present your wonderful performance video to senior residents who live in the assisted living facilities in Maryland. Student musicians can earn student service hours, light up lives and also help the community!! Let's U-N-M-U-T-E! (Please provide your email and cell phone number. We will contact you shortly with instructions about how to participate our virtual concerts.) Sign up below for a date to have your performance shared with senior residents. Any questions or comments, please email unmutemusician@gmail.com or call 301-247-3475.

6/13/20 11:00 AM + more

Knitters & Crocheters

Volunteers needed to knit or crochet handmade scarves. Scarves can be any color or pattern, but must be able to fit in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag when folded (about 6"x60".) Scarves can be mailed to or dropped-off at 515 South Haven Street, Baltimore, MD 21224, or they can be dropped off at the Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia, MD 21044. If you drop them off at the Bain Center, please clearly mark them for Meals on Wheels.

Through 10/31/20

Let the Music Play! (Virtual Opportunity)

Calling all musicians and vocalists! We LOVE music at Winter Growth and invite you to record and share your musical talents with the seniors and adults with disabilities we serve. Videos can be sent to colleen.konstanzer@wintergrowthinc.org. Once received, we’ll upload the videos to our YouTube channel, where they can be accessed and enjoyed by our residents as well as by our Day Program participants who are sheltering at home. Thank you for the smiles you'll bring!

Through 6/30/20

Pen Pal (Virtual Opportunity)

We are looking for virtual pen pals to connect with the seniors and adults with disabilities we serve. Write a note about a favorite vacation, share a silly story about a pet, tell us what life was like growing up in your neighborhood, or discuss anything else you’d like to share. The “letters” can be emailed to penpal.columbia@wintergrowthinc.org.

Through 6/30/20

Virtual Tour Guide (VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITY)

When Maryland's Stay-Home order was put in place, we decided to take the outside world in by sharing virtual field trips with our residents and day program participants via daily Facebook posts and Winter Growth Inc's YouTube Channel. We've traveled all over the world in the last 9 weeks and are planning to come "home" for a bit by featuring behind-the-scene tours of local businesses. We would love to "visit" a local brewery to see how beer is made, to learn about cake decorating from a pastry chef, to explore a laboratory where important research is being conducted and more. Contact us at colleen.konstanzer@wintergrowt hinc.org to let us know what virtual field trip you can take us on.

Through 7/31/20

Host a Virtual Bone Marrow Drive on Behalf of There Goes My Hero

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, There Goes My Hero is looking for volunteers to run virtual bone marrow drives. Volunteers can order kits online and people can sign up with simple cheek swabs. Joining the registry can save lives! Since TGMH is unable to do in-person drives at the moment, virtual drives have never been more important. Volunteers can help organize swabbings from the comfort of their own homes, and all expenses are paid. To sign up/learn more please contact Executive Director Mary Kaye DiUbaldo at mary.kaye@theregoesmyhero.org. We hope that you'll help us continue to make sure that blood cancer patients in need of a transplant can get one.

Through 6/10/20

Volunteer Center

6310 Hillside Ct.
Columbia, MD 21046 
410-715-3172