Giving Back from Afar: Four Ways to Volunteer

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Now more than ever helping others may seem impossible or too restricted as many people are staying home and social distancing to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. But, with a little creativity and effort, there are many ways to give back and make a difference from afar.

For example, popular musicians are performing free concerts from their homes or other remote locations to raise funds for front line workers. Many others are volunteering to shop for groceries for the elderly or those at highest risk for contamination. We’re all witnessing people taking actions, large and small, that are proving to not only make a difference in others’ lives but that are bringing to light the true value of altruism.

Below are four examples of volunteer efforts that can make a difference in your community.

Give to a Food Bank
Consider donating food to your local food bank. With thousands of workers furloughed or unemployed, many people are turning to food banks for their next meal. The need for support has never been greater.

Donate blood
The need for donating blood has never been greater now that quarantine orders have suspended community blood drives. But, many donation centers are open and eager to receive donors to help replenish inventories that local supply chains rely on to provide life-saving support. If you are able to donate blood reach out to your local blood bank to see how you can help.

Tutor a Student
Schools closures throughout the country have forced students to now rely on technology to be homeschooled. But as great as this technology is, remote classroom learning can be difficult for some.

Reach out to your local school or learning institution to explore what opportunities are available to help. Or, if you know a student who is struggling with their assignments or needs extra attention with homework, consider tutoring via Zoom or other remote video platform.

Support Your Favorite Charity
Now more than ever charity organizations need your support especially as many of their traditional donor sources have been stalled by the pandemic. As a long time supporter of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), BG Capital Group Chairman Bobby Genovese knows first hand the value of philanthropy through good times and bad.

Through his chairmanship of their annual Car and Boat Rally Scavenger Cups, which began in 2007, he has helped raise more than $16 million. “Our efforts will help the spectrum of what’s needed — from groundbreaking research and treatment to practical advancements like “chemotherapy backpacks” that free young patients from confining hospital stays,”said Genovese. “By working together we can help provide critical resources and support for pediatric cancer initiatives at SickKids. It’s not only my honor to have helped lead this initiative but I feel it is our duty to help support this very special hospital where children come from around the world to receive the most advanced treatments available, providing them with the best possible chance of surviving their diagnosis.”

Genovese is also a longtime supporter of the Vancouver- based Face the World Foundation, which has raised millions for a host of non-profit organizations in Vancouver, BC. In its 30-year history, Face the World has raised more than $19 million to assist more than 400 organizations devoted to everything from securing access to shelter and hot meals to contributing to anti-bullying campaigns and supporting music and sports programs for kids in need.

If you have the means, please continue to donate to the charities that you are most passionate about and encourage others to do the same. “Giving to others is something that I have done throughout my life,” says Genovese. “It is both a responsibility and a great privilege.”