United Way seeks volunteers

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the United Way of Southwest Michigan is seeking volunteers for various projects to continue to car for local residents.

Current volunteer opportunities include:

COVID-19 standby volunteers needed

United Way of Southwest Michigan is looking for volunteers who are willing and able to help in a variety of ways during the current COVID-19 crisis.  Volunteers may be needed to help with tasks such as food distribution, cleaning, laundry, and more.  At this time, this opportunity is an “on-call” opportunity, meaning that volunteers will only be contacted if a specific need arises. If a resident is willing and able to volunteer in the community for tasks such as these, sign up at uwsm.org/volunteer.

Send seniors a little cheer

Meals on Wheels of Southwest Michigan and Greater Niles Senior Center are asking for people to make and send cards to senior citizens. The organizations ask that volunteers be creative and help cheer up someone who is very lonely and potentially scared. For more information, or to sign up, visit uwsm.org/volunteer.

Turn compassion into action

American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan is looking for volunteers for several opportunities such as a disaster action team member, which provides 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, ensuring that those affected have access to resources for basic necessities such as food, shelter and clothing. The American Red Cross of Southwest Michigan is also looking for blood drive volunteers in Berrien, Cass and Van BurencCounties. For more information, or to sign up, visit uwsm.org/volunteer.

Feed the need

During the current “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, some seniors are wondering where their next meal will come from now that their usual resources are closed. Recently, the state of Michigan purchased Quarantine Boxes, also known as “Q Boxes,” for the Area Agency on Aging network of Michigan to help provide relief for seniors in need of shelf-stable food. The boxes contain 33 well-balanced, high protein, food items and can provide 22 adult meals. United Way of Southwest Michigan and Area Agency on Aging need volunteers to distribute these Q Boxes to seniors in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. For more information, or to sign up, visit uwsm.org/volunteer.

Make facemasks for seniors

Anyone making masks at home and looking for a place to donate them, Area Agency on Aging is seeking volunteers to sew and donate face masks for area seniors. These masks will provide an extra layer of safety for frail seniors or individual with disabilities who have care providers coming into their homes. In addition, seniors without a family member or caregiver to rely on may need to leave their homes to buy groceries, pick up medicine or buy personal care items. These masks can help them maintain safety and minimize risk while reserving n95 masks for medical personnel.

For more information, or to sign up, visit uwsm.org/volunteer.