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, laundry detergents, bleach, 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. – 4:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed for specific projects at sites on a case by case basis. Personal protection equipment will be provided by the sites, however if you have your own and would like to bring it, we encourage you to do that if it makes you feel more comfortable. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about opportunities throughout our organization, 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.
United Way for Southeastern Michigan is recruiting volunteers to field requests related to COVID-19 through our 2-1-1 call center. Volunteers will be trained to answer phones and direct callers to the appropriate nonprofit resources. Training, scripts and supplemental materials will be provided to all volunteers. To learn more, please visit: https://liveunitedsem.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=511005
Help adults from historically overlooked communities gain the professional skills and network they need to find employment through the StreetWise mentorship program. In this program, mentors and mentees will meet once a week where they are guided through a curriculum to develop skills to launch their career. Mentor opportunities begin this Spring. To learn more, please visit: https://liveunitedsem.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=486907
Focus: HOPE is seeking individuals and/or groups of up-to 15 people to package boxes of food for distribution to seniors. This is a moderately physical activity and long periods of active moving and standing are required. Opportunities are available throughout June, hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Limited Saturdays are also available. To learn more or sign up, please visit: https://focushope.galaxydigital.com/. Focus: HOPE Is adhering to all safety protocols regarding social distancing and COVID-19. Volunteers will be six feet apart from one another and will be supplied gloves. Unfortunately, masks are in short supply nationally, please bring your own or use a bandana, scarf to cover your nose and mouth. Should the volunteer opportunity say “full” on the website, please call: (Main) 313-494-4270 or (Immediate Response Line) 313-288-2059
Focus: HOPE is seeking individuals to deliver food to seniors. Volunteers will either select the location(s) they choose to deliver to or Focus: HOPE staff will provide the preassigned location. In many cases volunteers will also call ahead to alert recipients of their delivery time. Volunteer requirements: volunteers must use their own transportation. It is also helpful to have a dolly or utility cart to aid with the transporting on the food boxes once at the delivery site. Prior to transporting food volunteers will work with the Focus: HOPE staff to load the food boxes in the vehicle(s).Once the boxes have been delivered, the delivery slips must be returned for processing (there are a few ways to do this). To participate, please visit: https://liveunitedsem.galaxydigital.com/need/detail/?need_id=508680. Focus: HOPE Is adhering to all safety protocols regarding social distancing and COVID-19. Volunteers will be six feet apart from one another and will be supplied gloves. Unfortunately, masks are in short supply nationally, please bring your own or use a bandana, scarf to cover your nose and mouth. Should the volunteer opportunity say “full” on the website, please call: (Main) 313-494-4270 or (Immediate Response Line) 313-288-2059
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 months of May and June. 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.
Virtual volunteers can complete short-term or long-term tasks, in whole or in part, typically off-site from the organization or person being assisted. Participate in projects that involve: genealogy, fundraising, disaster mapping, mentoring, literacy, engineering and much more. To find up-to-date virtual volunteering opportunities, aggregated from nonprofits around the world, including projects supporting the COVID-19 response, please visit Points of Light’s All for Good volunteer hub here: https://www.allforgood.org/search?getRemote=true
Food Gatherers in Ann Arbor is seeking individuals that can volunteer in our Community Kitchen to prepare meals. Volunteers should note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic our food programming is being managed by the National Guard. Food Gatherers is also accepting donations. If you are interested in signing up as a volunteer or learning how to give, please visit: https://www.foodgatherers.org/
Forgotten Harvest is seeking volunteers to assist with their pop-up food distribution sites. Since COVID- 19 has hit, they have added five additional sites- one in Romeo and four in Detroit. Volunteers will be asked to help collect information, direct traffic and place boxes into car trunks. Please find more information here: https://forgottenharvest.galaxydigital.com/
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.
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.
As the number of COVID-19 patients continues to climb, Beaumont Health is now accepting specific medical supplies and donations to help support the health systems ongoing efforts to protect staff and patients during the pandemic. Donations will be accepted at Beaumont Service Center, 26901 Beaumont Blvd., Southfield, MI 48033; Monday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Donations will also be accepted at 41965 Ecorse Rd., Van Buren Twp., MI 48184; Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. List of accepted items: New or unused disposable face masks, N-95 mask (sometimes called respirators), eye protection including face shields and safety goggles, disposable gowns, disposable gloves (especially non-latex), disposable surgical caps, disposable foot covers, wipes: bleach or anti-microbial, hand-sanitizer, home-sewn reusable masks. Specialized items: PAPRs (powered air purifying respirators), PAPR hoods, nasal testing swabs, and viral testing kits.
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.
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. By completing the census, you are ensuring that your community receives critical funding to support food assistance, childcare, healthcare clinics, and so much more for the next 10 years. To learn more, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuEo-lXtVjc&feature=emb_rel_end
During this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Henry Ford Health System offers a number of ways you can help support both patients and our dedicated team members working on the front lines. Click here to learn how you can get involved or stay up to date on COVID-19 information. https://www.henryford.com/services/infectious-diseases/conditions/covid-19-coronavirus