Over a year into the COVID-19 crisis, it’s still hard to believe social distancing and wearing masks have become our normal way of life. During a time that has brought mental, emotional, and financial hardship on families, there is no shortage of guests that come to Family Promise for help. These unforeseen circumstances have forced us to make many changes in the way our programs run to keep our staff, volunteers, and guests safe. If you’re looking to get involved in helping families experiencing homelessness but aren’t sure how to do safely, the opportunities below will show how easily you can show you care from a distance.
1. Create your own peer-to-peer campaign.
When you hear the word fundraiser, images of socially distanced tables and volunteers in masks probably don’t sound very inviting. With a virtual peer-to-peer campaign, you can avoid the dangers of large groups during the pandemic while still bringing people together to support Family Promise. Simply email friends and family to spread the word!
2. Raise awareness on social media.
Family Promise strives not only to help individual families experiencing homelessness but also to raise awareness of the national housing crisis and advocate on behalf of our guests. By following us and sharing our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter content on your platforms, you can help us elevate the voices of low-income families to an even wider audience.
3. Become a “host” for one of our Affiliates.
Our ability to host families has been the biggest change we’ve made since the pandemic began, but it inspired us to find some creative ways for volunteers to help our families. Our Affiliate Family Promise Union County asks all volunteers who participate in a ‘host week’ to cook and deliver dinner for all their guests during their assigned week. It’s an amazing way to provide busy families with a home-cooked meal right to their door.
4. Volunteer over Zoom.
It may feel impossible to truly help people without the face-to-face interactions of our usual volunteer efforts, but with the help of technology, there are still plenty of ways to provide the same services from the comfort of your couch. Our Affiliate Family Promise Union County, for example, hosts a tutoring program for college/high school students to help children in their program work through their homework and excel in school. Offering support even for a half hour through a program like this one can make all the difference. Contact your local Affiliate for opportunities.
5. Make a donation.
No amount is too small to make a difference. With over 111,000 individuals sheltered in 2019 alone, Family Promise is constantly working to house and support our guest families. As the pandemic continues, continued support from our donors and volunteers allows us to meet the increasing number of families seeking assistance.