How to Volunteer in Minneapolis Right Now
2020 has brought on a set of challenges unlike anything the city of Minneapolis has ever faced. First was the urgent response to the health crisis of COVID-19. Then, the killing of George Floyd cast a light on the racist systems still deeply rooted in the city and nation. Between the two historic events, it’s hard to think of a time more uncertain, stressful, and yet powerful all at once.
Throughout the hardships, we’ve seen our community rise to the challenge, help their neighbors, and challenge their own belief systems in order to take action. Grassroots organizations have been overwhelmed with local support in the wake of anti-racist demonstrations, and food banks have been stocked week after week to support families in need. There’s no one in the city whose life hasn’t been affected by the pandemic and the social justice movement. And if you’re someone who has been struggling to choose how to invest your time, energy or money — we’re here to help you consider some options and point you to a cause you’re excited to support.
How can I volunteer in Minneapolis?
Make and donate masks
By now, we understand the importance of wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. When you wear a mask, it’s less likely you’ll spread the disease — especially important for people who may be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. Unfortunately, healthcare organizations, senior homes, affordable housing communities, and other potentially vulnerable communities across the state are still facing shortages of masks. One way to help meet their needs is by sewing masks at home and donating them directly to organizations in need. With some cotton fabric and cords for ear loops, it’s easy to sew several masks in just a few hours.
Once you’re ready to donate, CommonBond Communities’ mask drive is a great place to start. Simply fill out the form and we’ll give you the most current needs in our community and how to support them.
Donate food or volunteer at a local food bank
As unemployment grows to drastic proportions across the country in response to the pandemic, so does food insecurity. In Minneapolis, this crisis was compounded by the loss of some neighborhood grocery and drug stores. While our community rallied to support people who lost immediate access to fresh food, hunger remains a dire problem in our city. But there are ways to help. For starters:
- Find food and supply banks that are currently accepting goods with the Twin Cities Mutual Aid Map
- Donate food, time, or money to Second Harvest Heartland
- Follow Support the Cities on Facebook to keep up to date with food and supply drive events
- Help fight childhood hunger by donating food or money to the Sheridan Story
Support local nonprofits through donations
If you’re not comfortable doing in-person volunteering right now, donating to local nonprofits is a highly effective way to support others and affect change in Minneapolis. There are hundreds of organizations and causes around the Cities, and knowing which one to support can be a hard decision. It’s helpful to narrow down your choices and make sure your money will have a direct impact. There are a few ways to investigate causes you’d like to support, including ImpactMatters.
At CommonBond, we encourage you to support the organizations you believe can create change. If you can, take time to learn about our own mission to provide local communities with affordable housing — because we believe a home is the foundation for everything in life — and consider lending your support.
COVID-19 is, rightfully, a critical health concern around the world right now — but the need for blood and platelet donations for cancer, anemia, and surgery patients hasn’t changed. The Red Cross is making accommodations for donors to safely give blood while minimizing the risk of COVID-19 infection.
If you’re healthy, donating blood is a great way to give back to others in need in the community. There are several donation Red Cross donation sites across the Twin Cities — simply fill in your zip code and find one near you.
Deliver groceries for elderly neighbors and check in on vulnerable family or neighbors
Checking in on our vulnerable neighbors, friends, and family members is one of the most important ways to help out in the community right now. Elderly and immunocompromised groups have been living in greater levels of isolation for months now, leaving them at greater risk of loneliness and depression. If you have a loved one living in isolation (or simply overwhelmed by the stress that comes with living in a pandemic), be sure to give them a call or schedule a chat through the window to keep connected and encouraged.
Additionally, if you have elderly neighbors, consider volunteering some time to pick up and deliver groceries for them so they don’t have to worry about the risk of infection while picking up essential items.
Lend a hand to your local essential workers
COVID-19 has affected each of us, but for essential workers including healthcare staff, grocery clerks, USPS drivers, and many others, the threat of the virus is a concern every day. If you know anyone who works in a healthcare facility, chances are they’re stressed and could use some help. Here are a few ways you can show your support and gratitude for their work:
- Cook and deliver meals to their home
- Offer childcare support
- Tip delivery drivers generously if you can
- Wear your mask and practice social distancing!
There’s a way to volunteer for everyone who cares about Minneapolis
No matter your budget or schedule, there are so many ways to show support and volunteer in Minneapolis right now. Without a doubt, there is plenty of work to be done in Minneapolis yet, but showing up, listening to the needs of our community and responding to them the best way we can will contribute to long-lasting change.