Category: Brian O’Leary

Brian O’Leary On Volunteering During COVID 19 – Organizations Most in Need

Brian O'Leary of Elmhurst at local food bank

There is no way to know the true cost the COVID-19 pandemic has taken globally. For many, the virus has cost them their home, employment, life-savings, and health. While the virus has taken a toll on the majority of people, it has also given perspective to what matters most and instilled in many a desire to help others. For Brian O’Leary, his volunteer journey started by annually working for the Elmhurst St. Patrick Day parade. This year, in observance of Lent, Brian decided to double his volunteering efforts. Unfortunately, when the pandemic began, the organization he had been volunteering for closed. However, during this time Brian also saw a need for volunteers grow in a variety of organizations. Brian has since found different ways to give back to the community of Elmhurst during the coronavirus. If you also want to aid in your community’s coronavirus relief effort, Brian suggests volunteering for any of the following groups.

Soup Kitchen Aid:

Many soup kitchens across the nation are dealing with a shortage of volunteers. While the need for more volunteers has only risen with the unemployment crisis, the number of volunteers has dropped dangerously. The most common volunteers for soup kitchens are people over the age of 50, who now must take extra precautions against the COVID-19 virus by limiting their exposure to large groups. Soup kitchens are now asking people under the age of 50, who are non-immunocompromised, to volunteer their time and efforts.

Mask Makers:

Although the mask shortage in America is well in the past, many still do not have the funds or resources to acquire masks. If you are someone with sewing skills, have access to a sewing machine, or have the ability to donate, many homeless shelters in your community are in need of mask donations.

Domestic Abuse Survivors Therapy Group:

Since March, America has seen a rise in domestic abuse cases. One result of the corona virus is the increased amount of time people are confined within their homes. For people in abusive relationships, this has also meant an increased amount of time with their abuser in close proximity. Volunteer organizations are now asking people with psychology or trauma experience to volunteer their time online, facilitating group therapy for domestic abuse survivors.

Grocery Delivery Aid:

Studies have shown that those over the age of 65 are more likely to experience more severe symptoms of COVID-19, and as a result many elderly people are isolating from the general public. One issue many of these elderly people face is obtaining their groceries safely. Grocery delivery has existed for many years, however, it can be extremely expensive and for those living off their retirement funds, this may not be a viable option. Many young people have started offering their own delivery services to seniors in their community free of charge. If you have access to a car and are in good health, you may be an excellent candidate for this volunteer service.