My Experience Managing Volunteers in a Senior Community During COVID-19

These day’s things are anything but “routine and normal” for everyone who works with volunteers on a global scale. As a manager of volunteers in a senior living community in Dallas, my daily work schedule is a bit topsy-turvy.  I have been challenged over the last several weeks to find ways I, as part of an essential service organization, can accomplish our mission and vision to enrich the lives of those we are called on to serve.
This new normal has required me to think more outside of the box and to look for new innovative ways to engage and create volunteer opportunities without hosting volunteers at our facility.
Volunteerism has shifted with the arrival of COVID-19 and its restrictions.  These challenging times have reshaped my views of volunteerism.  Our volunteers have also changed their opinions of what it is to volunteer. 

Some ideas to cheer people in today’s environment might include making colorful posters with inspirational messages to donate to your favorite non-profit. For instance, writing notes and cards in our industry has always been a very traditional form of support, but creating artwork in posters can be shared with an entire community and not just one individual.  Plus, art lifts the soul and can be inspirational!
Another way is connecting virtually and producing a video of yourself telling jokes.  You can email your short video to an organization, and they can share it with their community.  We all need a good laugh while we are practicing self-isolation, and laughter is also good for the soul!
Some of our volunteers who usually come and play games have made yard signs for the front of our building to let the residents know they are thinking about them. Others have learned how to sew and donated much-needed cloth face masks to communities in need.
The opportunities to serve others is limited only by your imagination and creative spirit.    
If you have a desire to make a difference in your community, I encourage you to reach out to a local non-profit whose own mission matches your personal views and priorities. Sign up today and be prepared to think outside of the box about ways you can fulfill your own servant’s heart and desire to serve others.
Get involved today and make a difference in the lives of others and yourself by volunteering!  It will benefit you in more ways than you know.

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