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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Click here for related information.

Volunteer Center Staff is on temporary furlough with no access to email or voicemail due to Columbia Association's closure. 

Volunteer Center Serving Howard County staff has been temporarily furloughed.

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

Website was updated June 19, 2020.

 

A message from the Volunteer Center Serving Howard (MD)

During a State of Emergency, as in many disasters, many of us want to help others. At this point in time, established response organizations have been overwhelmed potential volunteers. Know that the need for services and volunteers won't stop as a community moves into recovery. In fact, the need may be greater.

Registered partner organizations are continuing to balance 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:

  • REMEMBER to maintain physical distancing for your health and that of others. Connect Socially!

  • 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 physical distancing, we recognize that the desire to help others by giving back remains strong. In addition, the needs of our neighbors and communities grow and change 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)

COVID-19 Rumor Control (fema.gov/coronavirus)

 

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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.

8/8/20 11:00 AM + more

COVID-19 Recovery

Support Marylanders serving Marylanders project through the Maryland Department of Aging. MD VOAD is coordinating/recruiting volunteers for PPE distribution and provide delivery services for seniors. Interested? Register at https://dart-md.communityos.org/

Through 12/31/20

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

Disaster Response/Recovery Volunteer

Seeking volunteers to assist with disaster response and recovery efforts (hurricane, tornado, clean-up, rebuilding) including COVID-19. To VIEW available opportunities and REGISTER your willingness to serve go to https://dart-md.communityos.org/

Through 12/31/20

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Virtual Opportunities

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

Volunteer Center

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