Time and Item Donations in the Time of COVID

This year has been tumultuous on many fronts, with the novel coronavirus pandemic, civil unrest, and an election.  

Though everything feels up in the air, one thing that will never change is the need for volunteers. Not all volunteering can be done virtually, but there are many things that can be done remotely or with strict social distancing guidelines. 

Sewing is something that can be done completely remotely, and if this is something you have experience with, you can volunteer to a Fidget Blanket for Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care. A fidget blanket has buttons, zippers, loops, lace, or anything else that is machine washable and has texture.  

These-lap sized blankets are used to reduce anxiety in patients with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. If this sounds like something you are interested in, contact Naomi Hirsch for more information.  

Sewing not your thing? Not to fear. You can volunteer with a Community Connections team, where you will think of ways to support the social and emotional needs of community members in a COVID friendly manner.  

With a focus on those with a reduced number of visitors, few activities, and fewer social interactions, this group seeks to safely enrich the lives of those around us with human interaction.  

If you feel more up to a solitary act, you can download an app and take pictures of gravestones. With nature eroding the faces of gravestones, an app called BillionGraves seeks to capture the information that may otherwise be lost to time.  

Gravestones at Crystal Lake Masonic Cemetery still need to be recorded, and all you need to do is download the app, clear the area, and snap a picture. Just be sure the let the cemetery manager know before dropping by.  

Donating  

There are plenty of reasons you may not be able to find the time to volunteer, and that is completely understandable. There are other ways to give back without donating your time.  

There are many places that are looking for food. The Food Bank is currently looking for canned food, bread, fruit, or any unused food items still in their packaging. Linn Benton Food Share is looking for farms and restaurants to donate food as well, wanting to redistribute the food to local people who can use it. With the Village Food Pantry you can even donate money that it will then use to buy canned food at a discounted rate, or you can donate things like condiments.  

Food is not the only needed donation. Men’s Cold Weather Shelter needs items that can be used to keep warm and dry during the winter like sleeping bags, jackets, tents, and waterproof clothing.  

The Center for Rape and Domestic Violence in Corvallis is looking for basic necessities, listing some of the most needed items as paper towels, deodorant, tear free shampoo for kids, and tampons. COVID safety gear is also needed, with Community Outreach, Incorporated looking for masks and disinfecting wipes to protect their clients and staff.  

Know of other places in Corvallis looking for volunteers or donations? Let us know.  

By: Hannah Ramsey