10 Ways Westgate is Giving Back And How You Can Too!
National Volunteer Week With Westgate Resorts
How to Give Back
While most Americans opt for catching the latest thriller to spending every other weekend feeding the homeless, volunteering has slowly, but surely, made its footing as a cultural hobby and habit. In 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated 60 million Americans volunteered in some capacity. In total, Americans gave back $184 billion in service to their very own regions and communities.
In many ways, volunteering has become more than a one-time event. But even those who still hold it at distance, see National Volunteer week as the one time a year where it’s not only preferred but honestly cool to give back. Plus, when you are in a global pandemic and sheltering in place, you start looking for things to do. The good news is we have you covered. Check out the links below for some fun, family-friendly ways to give back AND pass the time, while still social distancing!
Did we mention there is a global pandemic afoot and as a result resources are limited? Because the coronavirus has done just that. Millions are in need and it doesn’t take much for you to make a difference and offer a helping hand. Consider donating the following:
Food is essential. You need it, we need it; it’s a basic human need. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed in recent weeks and it’s still rising. Many families are struggling to put dinner on the table. If you have extra food or can afford to purchase an additional meal for a family in need, head to a food donation bank and donate today.
If you have the funds to give back, you don’t even need to leave your house! Follow the link below and donate a meal to a family with a basic human need we all share.
The CDC is now recommending all individuals wear face masks in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, not everyone has a mask. Across the nation, masks are in short supply for hospitals and healthcare facilities. Even doctors and nurses -- our basic caregivers -- who need masks to protect, treat, and cure us, are subject to the lack of protection. If you are crafty or have some extra time on your hands, consider making masks for your loved ones and the community.
Check out the tutorials below for step-by-step instructions on how to make a mask.
Blood & Plasma or Bone Marrow
On a typical day, it isn't unusual to see the bloodmobile parked at a shopping center or plaza, so with hundreds of thousands being treated for the coronavirus and other ailments, it’s safe to say blood donation is a necessity right now. It’s also one of those basic needs we talked about earlier – you know, to survive.
With the social distancing guidelines and decline in the economy, blood donation is low, but the need is high! Rest assured, donation sites are following social distancing guidelines and keeping their facilities sanitized. You can even make an appointment ahead of time to get in, do your part, and get out efficiently and safely.
Check out the links below to donate today.
While distance learning in full swing, most parents weren’t prepared for the sudden change, so not every student has the appropriate school supplies they need at home. Consider reaching out to your local school or a national program for what the needs are in your community.
Not everyone can afford to donate, and we totally get that. But -- as we mentioned -- volunteering is cool, so why not join the cool kids club, especially if it’s free? Also, unless you are coldhearted, it’s sure to tug on your heartstrings.
Food insecurity is one of the biggest challenges affecting families as a result of the virus's economic impact. As wonderful as it is to donate to a local food bank, once the food is received, it needs to be sanitized and packaged before distribution to a family in need. If you’re healthy, consider volunteering for your local food bank or food pantry to sort and distribute incoming donations. They are following social distancing guidelines and regulations to keep all volunteers safe!
Crisis Support Lines
Let’s face it, social distancing can feel downright lonely. This can easily lead to feelings of anxiety or depression. Already, experts are calling for better mental health monitoring as a result of the pandemic. The Lancet Psychiatry journal, which utilizes the research of 24 mental health experts, cites that much of the virus's long-term repercussions are still unknown, especially when it comes to mental health. If volunteering from home is more style, you can still be a resource to those in need by just being a friend.
In truth, you could be a lifeline!
Pets and Animals
For many of us, our favorite people aren’t even people. If you are spending more time at home, consider caring for our furry four-legged friends, who really do make the best non-human companions! Whether it’s fostering or adopting, there are resources to support you and your new best friend. Check out the resources below for help.
Messages of Encouragement
Giving back doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Making a difference in one person’s life can be just as impactful as contributing to an organization. Let’s remind one another that we are stronger together, even when we are apart.
Who doesn’t love mail that isn’t junk mail? Consider creating a homemade card to send warm thoughts and notes of encouragement. We guarantee it will put a smile on that person’s face. Check with hospitals, senior living facilities, and schools for their accepted delivery methods. If the organization can’t receive physical mail, ask if you can send an electronic card!
Be a good neighbor. If you can’t visit your loved ones, why not check on and support the people physically closest to you during this time? We can all lend a helping hand while social distancing. The AARP has some great suggestions on how to support your neighbors during this time, and why it’s important.
You were probably on social media prior to reading this post, and we suspect you will be again once you are done. Don’t just scroll your feed; create fun and engaging videos with your household! Consider a dance party, how-to tutorial, or reenactment of your favorite fairytale! Recording messages and everyday activities to share with friends and family are unique and comforting ways to stay in touch and give back to them while still social distancing.