MIDLAND, MICH. – United Way of Midland County continues to coordinate community volunteer opportunities in response to COVID-19 while providing volunteers with enhanced health and safety plans.
Per Gov. Whitmer’s executive order to “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” healthy volunteers can still legally assist those who are most vulnerable during the pandemic. This includes those who help provide food, shelter and other necessities of life.
“Our top priority is to do our best to keep volunteers healthy and safe while meeting the very real needs of our community,” said Holly Miller, executive director of United Way of Midland County. “We are asking all volunteers to assess their comfort level, health status, and working smart. Maintaining health and safety is a team effort, and we all must work together.”
If volunteers feel vulnerable to exposure or do not feel comfortable reporting to their scheduled volunteer shift, Miller said they are encouraged to refrain from volunteering and notify United Way as soon as possible.
To combat the spread of COVID-19, United Way has collaborated with volunteer host sites to create specific safety plans for volunteer events. These safety plans follow recommendations per the Center for Disease Control, such as:
- If you (or someone you have been in close proximity with) have shown symptoms of illness (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, etc.) or fall within a demographic that is listed as higher risk by the CDC, we ask that you refrain from volunteering at this time.
- Please wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
- Refraining from touching face and personal items after putting on gloves.
On March 14, United Way launched a digital platform to serve as a central hub for volunteer opportunities. Since the portal launched, over 110 volunteers have utilized the portal that have helped fulfill agency needs, including:
- Nearly 15 participants received training to volunteer at Senior Services Meals on Wheels program.
- Over 20 volunteers packaged meals and collected items for Midland’s Open Door.
- Over 75 volunteers helped load and deliver meals throughout the week with Midland Public Schools.
- To view and sign up for community volunteer opportunities, access the United Way volunteer portal at http://eportal.unitedwaymidland.org/howtohelp
The Midland Area Community Foundation and United Way are working together to continuously monitor the needs of our community during this unprecedented time. They have created a central portal to capture needs—people, organizational and volunteer. To submit a request, visit: https://form.jotform.com/200786004531043.
“Working collaboratively with United Way and the entire Midland County COVID-19 Coalition allows long and short-term community needs to be addressed to the best of the Coalition’s ability,” said Sharon Mortensen, president and CEO of the Midland Area Community Foundation. “By fostering collaboration we can leverage the strengths of our partners and make a greater impact during this unprecedented time.”