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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

Volunteers show ‘true essence of living united’

Find ways to volunteer virtually, sign up for Day of Action June 20

By Bradley Roberts, Content Manager at United Way of Greater Atlanta

A lot has changed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, but one thing remains consistent: volunteers across Atlanta are eager to “lend a hand at this critical time,” and help those most vulnerable in these communities. 

Naturally, the focus on Volunteerism at United Way of Greater Atlanta has shifted—volunteering when you can’t be physically close or, in many cases, even the same room, has created a new set of challenges. But the Volunteerism Team has stepped in to create opportunities that allow people to continue to help others. 

“We have been inundated with interest from volunteers from all over wanting to jump in and lend a hand at this critical time, and we have been working with our nonprofit partners to help develop safe and meaningful opportunities for volunteers to make an impact,” says Senior Director of Volunteerism at United Way Kisha Stanley. “The Volunteerism Team is blazing trails with new projects to serve the community.” 

Check out ways you can volunteer safely to help children and their families in communities across Greater Atlanta. 

One large volunteer event United Way hosts each year is the Day of Action. The event is scheduled this year for June 20, but like other events this year, it looks very different. 

You can register this year for a number of virtual or DIY volunteer opportunities. 

“Typically, we see around 250 volunteers across 10-20 sites [for Day of Action],” Stanley says. “We have been able to pivot this year and offer up a comparable amount of projects, it just looks a little different than usual. United Way volunteers are always eager to get the job done, and we are hopeful that the community will still roll up its sleeves to make an impact.”

Planning over the past few months has been “new territory” for the United Way Volunteerism Team. United Way postponed live events on March 13, days before launching a partnership with Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta to aid in COVID-19 Response and Recovery.

The needs of Greater Atlanta’s 13 counties haven’t changed, though—if anything, the pandemic has exacerbated these problems. These Volunteerism events help United Way continue its mission to improve the lives and well-being of children who don’t have the same support and resources as children who live only a few miles away from them. 

Through monetary donations, advocacy and volunteering, you can help give those children a chance to reach their potential. 

“We have our virtual college workshop for teens, covering everything from financing your education to choosing a major,” says Stanley. “Volunteers can donate books, senior care packages and some our usual kit options that are in dire need right now due to COVID-19. There are projects for all ages, at the level in which people are most comfortable in getting involved.

“We are here, and now more than ever, we’ve got to show up. Our volunteers are a part of that. They show up and consistently prove their commitment to the work we do. They really are the true essence of living united.”

Give to United Way today, volunteer for your community or help aid in Greater Atlanta’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery. 

Claire Arnold, United Way’s senior manager of Individual and Youth Engagement, also contributed to this report.


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