New times call for new ways of service. At the center, we're working to continue to connect students with shifting community needs so our neighbors can get the help they most need in this unprecedented time of social distancing. Check back often, as we will continue to update this list, or submit new community needs or ideas for service below.
*While donations of food or money are still desperately needed during this time, these donations are not ServScript eligible.
Second Harvest of the Big Bend
According to our regional food bank, the COVID-19 pandemic poses an even greater threat to food insecure populations. They are in need of support to help ensure "neighbors in need can make it through these challenging times."
There are three main ways to help during this time:
- Donate food (canned or dried goods)
- Donate funds to support its efforts
- Volunteer to help sort and pack or distribute food
For more information on the work of Second Harvest of the Big Bend, visit fightinghunger.org.
This agency is Tallahassee based, but there are surely others in your local area. It connects volunteers with homebound people who need assistance getting basics such as medications and groceries. It is contactless and allows you to run errands and then drop things off for people who cannot leave their homes. Not something like this in your area? Start your own!
On Facebook @angelstally
Emotional support and friendship for people in assisted living or nursing homes
Students can work with the activity coordinator or social workers that are at most nursing homes/extended rehab facilities to host small group conversations or even just one-on-one chats remotely with those living there. Many of these facilities have limited residents to being confined in their rooms for safety and to control germ spread. This can be isolating and negative for the mental health of the elderly. Just sharing about your life and asking them stories about their life is a gift.
Visit heartwiseproject.weebly.com for more information or contact a facility in your area directly. If you coordinate something on your own, please share it here and help other students get connected.
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line is the free 24/7 textline for people in crisis in the U.S. The service is powered by volunteer crisis counselors who work remotely (anywhere with a computer and secure internet connection). Some prior training is needed, but for those with specalized backgrounds or prior training, this is a great option.
For more information, visit, crisistextline.org.
Distributed Proofreaders provides a web-based method to ease the conversion of Public Domain books into e-books. The mission is to "preserve the literary history of the world in a freely available form for everyone to use." The goal is to make public domain books accessible to read to ensure the open access of knowledge and to ensure content transfers to assistive technology for those with visual impairments.
Learn more at pgdp.net or register to volunteer.
An organization that is activating their resources in new ways to meet the immediate and urgent needs of children and families in the communities we serve (including come communities in Florida) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information about the organization, visit coachingcorps.org or sign up to be connected to a recruiter who can specifically explain how you can serve.
Social Media Campaign
Create a campaign that promotes safety and reframing "social distancing" as a form of community and intentionally keeping others safe. Challenge those who are not fully committing to social distancing that it is their civic duty to help protect others and to help flatten the curve. Use your marketing skills, your social networks, and the millions of college students sitting at home to help you spread the word. Start your own thing, but be sure to tag @thecenterfsu on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Contact Paige Rentz at firstname.lastname@example.org with question or for more information.
Zoom Music/ Concert fundraiser
If you are musically inclined you can live stream/ zoom a musical performance to raise money for an organization you want to support during this time. Collaborate with other musicians, promote the 'concert' and help us to connect with you, your music, and a charity of your choice. Start your own thing, but be sure to tag @thecenterfsu on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Contact Paige Rentz at email@example.com to discuss promotions of your online fundraiser.
While some geographic areas have a temporary suspension on blood donations, or require a negative test before donation, other areas are experiencing critical shortages of blood. If acceptable in your area, ServScript restrictions allow for one hour of service for every blood donation. The vast majority of Florida is served by OneBlood, and donors are currently asked to schedule an appointment.
If you're outside of OneBlood's service area, the American Red Cross is another great resource to find donation locations.
Online Emotional Support Listener
Get trained to become an online volunteer listener, providing free emotional support through 7 Cups. According to the organization, "getting started as an active listener is easy and rewarding in many ways. You’re in complete control over your displayed availability, so you can listen as often as you like." Prospective listeners can sign up online, but must undergo online listening training and complete a listener profile in order to volunteer.
Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers and company representatives for visual assistance through a live video call. To learn more, read the company's "getting started" guide.
For all you researchers out there who are itching to get back to the lab, consider flipping the script and becoming a research participant. Help Harvard researchers learn the best ways to break down stereotypes by taking tests with Project Implicit. One hour of service per test.
My Free Tutor
MyFreeTutor pairs skilled math tutors with struggling math students. The tutor and student then meet once a week in an online classroom. The tutor caters each session to the student’s specific needs, allowing you to get the help that you need and learn at your own pace. Tutoring sessions are 60 minutes, once a week. Volunteers are needed weekdays. Scheduling is flexible, and because all tutoring is virtual, you can work from the comfort of your own home or office. Learn more at myfreetutor.org.
Guest Contributor to CLSC Community Building Content
Have you been watching the center as we adjust to building community virtually? Do you have ideas to help? Maybe some of the staff at your agency want to share how they are continuing to provide services amid this crisis? Or they need an audience to call for support or increased need for volunteers/donations. Help be the connection and help us maintain relationships amid distance. Connect with Paige Rentz at firstname.lastname@example.org or any CLSC staff member to write a blog, produce a video or livestream, or interview a local celebrity for educational and community-enriching content.
Support Health Care Workers
Start a neighborhood "Shout Out" to health care workers. This can be a daily clap session, sending food from a local restaurant, making posters or thank you cards — the ideas are limitless. The shout out can be via social media, hanging signs in your neighborhood, cars, or windows.
Host a virtual voter registration drive
Look for organizations that promote voter registration or connect with your state’s voter registration page. Spread the word by checking in with friends or family members to see if they are registered. Just remember, registration varies by state, so be sure to send them the correct information. You can set up a zoom to host voter registration and share your screen to aid others in signing up! In Florida, information about voter registration can be found via the Department of State's Division of Elections.
Cards for seniors
Providing connection and communication for seniors in the Big Ben area through Elder Care Services or the Alzhiemer's Project. To inquire about this project contact Josie Fliger for Elder Care Services at email@example.com, or for the Alzheimer's Project, Debbie Moroney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social & digital media support
Help local nonprofits keep their websites and social channels up to date with the latest information about their programs during this period of rapidly changing information. Reach out to Samantha Vance with Ladies Learning to Lead or Velma Stevens at the Sickle Cell Foundation.
Girls2Divas Mentee Support
Help is needed providing follow-up and check ins with the mentees served by this program. Contact Janay White at email@example.com for more information. To learn more about the program, visit girls2divas.org
The Heart Gallery of the Big Bend
Help is needed putting together a contact list of local businesses, schools, and churches that would be interested in hosting a Heart Gallery in the future (once we are all clear from Covid-19. Learn more at heartgallerybigbend.org or contact Abigail Phelps, Fostering Success Program Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida Veteran's Foundation - digital media support
With the changing nature of COVID-19, the foundation is in need of help keeping its website and social media up to date for Florida's veterans. Learn more about the organization at helpflvets.org, or email Lew Wilson at email@example.com to volunteer.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend
Our elementary age youth are experiencing social isolation, loss of friends, and difficulty navigating their new world of virtual education. You can help! We will match you with a youth and you can connect with them virtually to help with schoolwork, give inspiration, or just play video games! You can change a life with spending just one hour a week volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
To volunteer, visit bigbendmentoring.org/volunteer and enter your information. Our team will contact you for a virtual interview and enrollment process. Once you're matched, we will be there to support your relationship, giving ideas of virtual activities, offering support, and helping your match succeed!
2-1-1 Big Bend
2-1-1 Big Bend is 24/7 and answers the local crisis hotline Helpline 2-1-1 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. With everything going on in the world, people are in crisis now more than ever and are reaching out to us for information, resources, and supportive counseling. We need volunteers to help ensure no call goes unanswered and we can be there for our community in their time of need.
Volunteers, who provide free, short-term crisis counseling, information and referrals on these two hotlines, are required to attend an information session and virtual training this summer. Applications are available at 211bigbend.org/volunteer.
For more information, contact Meagan Sellards at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southeast Ohio Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Now more than ever, the program needs volunteer Ombudsmen to advocate for excellence in long-term care, calling residents and their families to give them a voice in this time of crisis and keep them connected to their advocates. These calls reveal unheard complaints, concerns, suggestions, and questions from consumers about care. Ombudsman volunteer duties can be performed in the comfort and safety of the volunteer’s home, and free virtual training to certify the volunteer as an Ombudsman will be provided.
To become a volunteer Ombudsman representative, complete an application at www.stepup.ohio.gov or call the state office at 1-800-282-1206 today. Your application will be forwarded to the regional Ombudsman program serving your community.
For more information, contact Alana McGee at email@example.com or 614-728-6149.
American Red Cross of Massachusetts - Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19
We are close to two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and while we cannot control much in this crisis, we can take action to help manage the challenges of day-to-day life. That’s why the American Red Cross has developed a free Mental Health First Aid for COVID-19 course that can be taken online in less than one hour. The course is designed to help anyone impacted by COVID-19 to build resilience and lend support to others during and after this time. Topics, developed with the expertise of the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and the Canadian Red Cross, include recognizing stress as well as caring for yourself while supporting your family and coworkers.
For more information, contact Chris White at MAVolunteers@redcross.org.
Council on Aging Southern California - HICAP
Orange County’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) is looking for qualified candidates to become volunteer HICAP counselors. These counselors are trained and state-registered to provide FREE, unbiased Medicare related information and assistance.
Volunteers are trained to assist beneficiaries in getting the answers they need. HICAP Counselors help people understand their Medicare benefits and identify coverage options that best meet their needs.
Bilingual counselors urgently needed, especially for individuals speaking English and: Spanish, Farsi, Korean, Japanese and Tagalog.
Interested in this important volunteer opportunity? Please contact Heather Orey by email at HOrey@coasc.org or by phone at 714.560.0424 x225. You may also submit your information at coasc.org/hicapcanhelp/#volunteer-form.
Our project is expanding quickly and rapidly. Often times, we find it hard to connect to people who are located in a different time zone than ours. We require people from varying locations to facilitate communication with local senior and hospice centers.
It will allow for Seniors to feel happy and supported through these troubling times.
To learn more, visit allforgood.org/organization/generations-together.
To volunteer, contact Yuvna Musuku at firstname.lastname@example.org or
We're still compiling service ideas and opportunities. If you know of an opportunity for students to serve, please let us us know by submitting details to our community engagement team.