What Volunteering Looks like during a Pandemic
This blog post is written by Emerging Leaders 365 Donor and Committee Member Albert Cheng.
This past fall I really wanted to find ways to connect, make a difference, and give back to our community. I found that volunteering was a great way to do just that. At United Way of King County, I was able to find different ways to drive impact alongside other young professionals as part of the Emerging Leaders 365 program.
When I heard that the October Monthly Challenge was related to the election, I was energized by the opportunity to participate in the process. I called over 50 people in WA State as part of our efforts to Get Out the Vote this fall. Whether it was giving someone information on how to register to vote or just a simple reminder/ encouragement, it felt like I was contributing to something bigger. This work needs to continue so to those in our community – many of whom have been historically disenfranchised and are people of color – can practice their right to vote without facing barriers.
With the weather taking a turn and getting colder and rainier, it was great to see that this past November’s Monthly Challenge when we came together to get Cold Weather Gear out to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Part of this volunteer opportunity allowed for more learning and sharing about the King County and the barriers those experiencing homelessness face when accessing warm clothing for the colder months. We partnered with the Chief Seattle Club, to get warmer gear out to those who needed it most through a clothing drive. It was great to see peers directly donate items and/or leverage their networks to get clothing out.
The holidays season is often advertised as the season for giving and this opportunity felt like a great chance to give back a little to the community as well. The December Monthly Challenge involved helping to decorate YWCA’s Angeline’s Day Center with festive items to help spread some joy and cheer during these tough times. Each year, it’s a family tradition for us to hike and pick out a tree. This year, we gathered pinecones, boughs, and more to create garlands for YWCA’s Angeline’s Day Center. I hope that with our little contributions to decorating the space, womxn in our community were able to feel that extra care and smile just a little bit more during the holidays.
Overall, each of these volunteer opportunities provided an opportunity for me to support our community during this pandemic. I hope that this winter, you too, will find ways to participate. Please visit the Emerging Leaders 365 calendar to see ways you can plug in!