We Are In This Together

The above title could have been Volunteer Network OC’s mission statement or at least our motto in good times and bad.  We believe everyone in our community should be looking out for every other person, regardless of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status.  We are one community.  We are Orange County.

COVID-19 has made us more aware that we are all connected.  It doesn’t discriminate either.  The silver lining in this dark cloud is that people are reaching out to help others more than ever.  We wear masks to protect others as much as to protect ourselves.  Frontline workers in healthcare, public service, grocery stores, gas stations and many other places are taking a risk to provide essential services.  We have heard the stories of students who are volunteering to pick up groceries for the elderly to help them avoid exposure to the virus. Neighbors are checking in with each other.  We no longer zoom in and out of our garages and simply wave as we pass by.

So, what can you do?

First, take care of yourself.  The CDC advises you to:

  • Stay home but connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
  • Exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do other activities you enjoy.

We particularly like the last item – try other activities.  If you are looking for activities to get your mind off the pandemic, we recommend:

Donating Blood

The CDC and the state of California both recognize that leaving home to donate blood is a worthy cause that people should pursue during this lockdown.   California posted the following message:

The coronavirus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives. Blood collection sites are regulated by the FDA and the entire blood banking community is uniting in urging people to donate blood and for organizations to keep hosting blood drives. The FDA has reiterated that there have been no reported or suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted coronavirus and the virus poses no known risk to patients receiving blood transfusions.

Please consider donating to the American Red Cross or the City of Hope.

Making Masks

Face Mask options

Through our affiliate, Friends of VNOC, we have launched a Virtual Volunteering – Helping from Home campaign.

We will come up with different ideas from time to time for home projects designed to help others.

Our first campaign is to make masks for non-health care workers such as volunteers working with the homeless and mask covers for the N-95 medical respirator masks.  If you like to sew or are willing to give it a try, you can sign up for this event on our mobile app.  Our goal is to provide 1,000 masks a week to frontline workers.   We are in this together, and we can do this together.