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In these uncertain times, many are looking for ways to lend a hand. If you are healthy and able-bodied, there are dozens of ways you can get involved and help those in Edmonton most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Whether it’s lending a few hours of your week to help the elderly in your neighbourhood buy groceries or dog sitting for an essential worker putting in long hours, a small gesture of support can go a long way. 

We’ve put together a list of local agencies and not-for-profit organizations in Edmonton who rely on volunteers to meet the needs of our community. We’ve also included several resources you can use to find the right fit for your specific skills. 

While volunteering during COVID-19 might feel particularly dangerous, extra hands have never been more needed. According to Dr. Hinshaw, volunteers must follow all precautions to keep themselves and others protected. But she encourages those who are healthy and willing to get engaged!

#1 The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed works to protect those in Edmonton living in poverty or homelessness. The need to help these vulnerable populations has only increased as a result of COVID-19.

While there is always the option of donating money online, they are also in need of certain items. If you are interested in volunteering your time, they have laid out the ways in which to help on their website. 

#2 Edmonton Meals on Wheels

Edmonton Meals on Wheels has dramatically increased their food production during the COVID-19 pandemic. This means more food and hands-on-deck have been needed to feed the most vulnerable here in our city. In addition to cooking, Meals on Wheels also needs volunteer drivers and grocery shoppers. 

#3 Edmonton Humane Society

The Edmonton Humane Society is anticipating a rise in abused, neglected, and homeless animals in need of emergency shelter. As well, people who become sick may not have the means to care for their animals anymore. While they are not accepting emergency foster volunteers at this time, they are asking for monetary donations. 

#4 Microvolunteering

Microvolunteering allows volunteers to commit to smaller tasks that can be done anytime, anywhere, when they are able. Microvolunteering is an especially useful tool during the COVID-19 pandemic as many are wanting to help but unable to leave their homes due to pre-existing conditions, etc. 

Tasks could include knitting masks for other volunteers, pet sitting for essential business workers, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, collecting mail, and so on. Click here to learn more about microvolunteering and find local opportunities. 

#5 Donate Blood

Lexus Canada and Canadian Blood Services have been long-standing partners for years, working together to improve the blood supply chain. In times of unprecedented challenge like we face today, the need for blood has never been more urgent. 

Book an appointment online today to donate blood! To make sure you are eligible, visit their website and take the quiz. Donating blood is one of the easiest and most helpful ways to lend a hand right now. 

#6 Social Distancing Child Support

With schools and most daycare facilities closed, many parents are spending their days trying to teach, parent, and supervise their children. This is exhausting for any household, especially if you’re a single parent or have multiple children under the age of ten. 

A great way to help is offering to entertain a friend or co-workers child, even if just for an hour. Organize a zoom call and plan an activity.

It could be as simple as reading a book or doing a small work-out routine. After weeks of quarantine, any parent would be grateful for a few moments of reprieve. 

#7 Support Small Business

COVID-19 has had a hugely negative impact on small businesses across our city. Restaurants, pubs, local shops, and the like have all had to close their doors and adopt drastically altered business models in order to stay afloat. 

Playing a positive role in our community can include volunteering, but it can be as simple as buying dinner from the local mom-and-pop shops offering curbside pick up. 

Small business owners have families to feed and bills to pay and their stress increases tenfold with each day that passes. Buying gift cards, booking future appointments, or sharing a local business with a friend can make a huge difference. 

#8 Edmonton Food Bank

The Edmonton Food Bank is still accepting monetary and non-perishable food donations. They are also allowing individual volunteers or small groups (2-4 people) to help meet their increased need at this time. 

The Food Bank normally serves 22,000 people a month but that number is slowly rising as the pandemic continues to cause some to lose their jobs. 

Their most needed food items are:

  • Beans
  • Canned fish or meat
  • Baby formula
  • Peanut butter
  • Health school snacks
  • Canned fruit or vegetables
  • Soup
  • Pasta and pasta sauce

While they appreciate all support, the Food Bank has asked for people looking to lend a hand to consider monetary donations over food. This allows them to fill their biggest needs in real-time as the demand fluctuates. 

#9 Donate Furniture

Find YEG is a local social enterprise aimed at providing essential furnishings at no coast to individuals and families attempting to transition out of homelessness. 

Because most of us are spending more time around the house, spring cleaning sprees have started earlier this year. If along the way, you discover unwanted furniture, Find is still accepting donations at their 5120 122 Street location. 

#10 Offer Your Expertise

If you are a working professional looking to volunteer some of your time, there are countless organizations across Edmonton in need of your services. 

Volunteer Connector is an online tool that connects you with opportunities in your area that are best suited for your particular set of skills. 

Digital marketers, lawyers, interpreters, graphic designers, and teachers, and many more professionals are needed in times like these. Discover where you fit best!

Stay Healthy and Safe

We encourage those who are willing and able-bodied to volunteer their time in a way that makes sense for them. We recognize that looks different for everyone. Sometimes a simple phone call to a loved one is an appreciated gesture.

It’s also important to continue to practice safe hygiene and health habits, especially when volunteering with others. If you have questions or concerns or would like to contact us directly, please leave a comment below. Stay healthy and safe, Edmonton!