Nonprofit organizations that were already stretched thin before COVID struck are now trying to meet increased demand — and with fewer volunteers. If you are in a position to help, here are some ways that you can volunteer from home and get the whole family involved. 


Sign up to cook and safely deliver meals for the women and children at Lilac Meadows family homeless shelter. Or help P:ear feed youth experiencing homelessness. Pro tip: Since both organizations require large amounts of food donations, recruit friends to help make big-batch meals in their own kitchens, too.


Blanchet House, which serves 2,000 meals a day to homeless Portlanders, is asking for care kits and outdoor clothing in adult sizes that they can hand out. Assembling care kits is something even toddlers can help with! Find out what to include in care kits here.

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If you’ve got any sewing skills, now is a great time to pass them along to your kids by sewing masks to donate to health care workers — or even neighbors and friends. The Facebook group Crafters Against COVID-19 is a good place to find mask patterns and instructions for delivering to hospitals.


With sky-rocketing numbers of unemployment, the PDX Diaper Bank is seeing a huge need for diapers right now. You can round up donations by organizing a virtual diaper drive for families in need. PDX Diaper Bank is happy to support you in your drive efforts, and you can email their Community Engagement Coordinator Myranda Rusie at [email protected] with any questions.


While many animal shelters are closed due to COVID, they are still caring for pets awaiting their forever homes. And your family can help the CAT Adoption Team keep their furry charges entertained by sewing cat toys at home and then dropping them off at the shelter.  

Denise Castañon
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