As the world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has received countless inquiries from people asking what they can do to help people and organizations in need.
As you consider how to help, we encourage everyone to exercise caution and follow safety protocols before volunteering. Potential volunteers should also follow local guidelines including Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order announced on March 23, 2020. Details about what volunteering and other activities are permitted under the Michigan Executive Order can be found here.
We’ve listed some of the most urgent needs below and will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
A limited amount of non-warehouse volunteer shifts involving small numbers of individuals are available at Gleaners. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gleaners suspended warehouse volunteer shifts through at least Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
One of the country’s largest providers in the fight against homelessness and substance abuse, Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries is in desperate need of cleaning and household supplies such as hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Kleenex and toilet paper. Nonperishable food, prepared food, hygiene items and baby care items are also needed. Donations can be delivered to the 150 Stimson, Detroit, MI 48201 location on weekdays between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Volunteers are needed to run the front desk and monitor hallways at several facilities. Health care professionals are also needed to help work in the DRMM clinic. Personal protection equipment will be provided, along with training from the Detroit Health Department. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about opportunities for health professionals, please call Jamie McMillen at 313-771-9002.
The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now, to help patients counting on lifesaving blood. To find a blood donation location near you, click here.
United Way for Southeast Michigan has created a Coronavirus website that lists specialized COVID-19 volunteer opportunities and community resources. It also includes details about the COVID-19 Community Response Fund they established to help rapidly deploy resources to local community-based organizations offering emergency relief to families and individuals in need.
Dearborn Public Schools is looking for volunteers to help with the district’s needs for meal service to children during this critical time while schools are out of session. Volunteers will help with packaging and distributing meals to families. Opportunities are available in two hour time slots, take place at various school locations throughout Dearborn, and are available throughout the month of April. Proper safety protocols are in place to follow social distancing guidelines. To see available shifts and sign up, please visit: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084ba8a92fa6f85-dpsmeal.
As a client-choice food pantry, Fish and Loaves is looking for shelf-stable food donations to keep their pantry stocked. A full list of the types of items can be found here. Please call 734-442-0031 for information on how to drop off your donations.
Starfish Family Services physical centers are closed through April, but Starfish staff remain available to families and clients as more than 4,000 metro Detroit children (and their families) are served annually by the organization. Starfish Family Services is seeking monetary donations for the purchase of diapers. Starfish recognizes that social distancing measures may increase financial and material hardship, as people stay home and cannot access support systems. To keep up with this increased demand, the Starfish needs your support to help families through this troubling time. A donation of $80 will allow Starfish to purchase a one month supply of diapers for distribution to families. To donate, please visit: https://www.starfishfamilyservices.org/. Please note due to COVID-19 Starfish Family Services is not accepting drop off diaper donations at their facilities at this time, only monetary donations for the purchase of new items.
In response to COVID-19 Zaman International is seeking hygiene items or non-perishable food item donations, as well as monetary donations towards the purchase of these items. To learn more about the what is needed, including where to drop off donations please call, 313-551-3994. The organization is also accepting clothing donations at any of their designated bin locations throughout Southeast Michigan.
Vista Maria provides specialized intensive residential treatment programs for women and young girls. To help address obstacles and challenges presented by this pandemic, they've created an Amazon Wish List with items needed to keep children active and learning. All donations will be sent directly to Vista Maria. In addition, all financial contributions are being directed to COVID-19 response and relief, to help provide flexibility to adjust programming and services as the situation rapidly evolves.
With an emphasis in STEM education, Arts & Scraps provides hands-on learning and creative experiences. The organization is partnering with Brilliant Detroit and Mint Artists Guild to deploy at least 5,000 creative learning supply kits at no cost for Detroit families to use during this quarantine. To learn more on how your financial contribution will help build and deploy kits, click here.
For financial donations: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/thehive.