United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania is working closely with other community-based organizations to share their most immediate needs while dealing with the coronavirus and connecting volunteers to safe opportunities in their communities.
Updated on: 2/9/2021
WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND:
Community members are encouraged to help support urgent community needs created by the Coronavirus outbreak, but we ask that you keep the following in mind:
Honor the public health recommendations. If you’re delivering supplies or food to a family or organization, follow the suggestion of social distancing – ring the doorbell and move away from the door, text them beforehand, etc.
Feel connected through solo volunteering. Even if you’ve signed up for a solo volunteering opportunity – like delivering food to someone who needs it or distributing door hangers with information – know that the people you’re helping appreciate your outreach and you’re helping people feel connected. You’re also staying true to the health department’s suggestion of social distancing.
Look for opportunities that are limited in size. Organizations know how important of a role they play in minimizing the spread of the disease. If you are committed to volunteering with others, look for a group size of 10 or less.
Stay home when you are sick. Of course, you should be doing all of the things to stay safe – hand washing, limiting exposure, etc. – but this one deserves a second shout out. If you are not feeling well, please stay home and get well. Thanks to people who think like you, there will be plenty of volunteers out there to help when needed.
THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS HAVE URGENT NEEDS AROUND FOOD:
Volunteer & Donate Items
- Click here to volunteer with the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.
- Click here to volunteer at YMCA food pantries.
- Click here to apply to help pack emergency food boxes with Fayette County Food Bank. (Republic, Fayette County)
- Click here to email staff from Wesley Family Services to help deliver food to seniors. (City of Pittsburgh, Southern and Eastern Allegheny County)
- Click here to sign up to help pick up and deliver food with 412 Food Rescue.
- Click here to apply to help pack emergency food boxes with Westmoreland County Food Bank. (Delmont, Westmoreland County)
- Click here to email staff from Light of Life Mission to help distribute food (North Side, Allegheny County)
- Click here to become a food pantry volunteer with The Lighthouse Foundation (Butler County)
INTERESTED IN VIRTUAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES?
- Click here to email staff from Children’s Hospital and sign up to make calls to youth through the Center of Adolescent and Young Adult Health.
- Click here to learn more about ongoing essential services and apply for volunteer opportunities with American Red Cross (All Counties)
- Click here to email staff at Gwen’s Girls and apply to be an Academic Coach for K-12 students.
- Click here to apply to make calls to seniors with North Hills Community Outreach.
- Click here to email staff from Wesley Family Services to make calls to seniors.
- Click here to join a youth/senior pen pal program with YMCA.
- Click here to email staff from Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania to help prepare a virtual professional development lesson for teens in the Career Works career development program.
GET ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Making sure people are informed with all of the right resources is another great way to volunteer.
Our community is uniting to share resources, help neighbors in need and decrease the impact of COVID-19 in our region. You can help share the word via social. Below are simple steps you can take to help spread the word about how United Way can help connect people to resources that can help during this crisis.
1. Follow United Way on social media.
2. Share the below message and please tag United Way of Southwestern PA so we can monitor our reach to those who may be in need.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, If you are in need, contact United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania’s PA 2-1-1 Southwest by dialing 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898-211, or visiting pa211sw.org.
Sign up to receive alerts with the most up-to-date information and resources at pa211sw.org/text-alerts. #COVID19 #UnitedWeWin
3. Check United Way’s channels daily or weekly to engage with and most importantly share posts about resources and news so we can reach as many people as possible who may not know where to turn.
As additional opportunities are identified, these lists will be updated. Please check back regularly for new volunteer needs.
LOOKING TO HELP FINANCIALLY?
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, United Way of Southwestern PA is taking a leadership role in addressing the public health, human services and emergency basic needs crisis in our region. Over the past several weeks, we have worked closely with the leading regional foundations—The Pittsburgh Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Henry L. Hillman Foundation and the Richard King Mellon Foundation—to set up a fund to address the COVID-19 crisis to address the economic impact and immediate needs of vulnerable populations. We have also partnered with the PNC Foundation and Eat’n Park Hospitality Group for the Students and Families Food Relief Fund to support families struggling with food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, United Way’s Emergency Basic Needs Fund has been in place for years, to provide emergency assistance to families and individuals. Add to this the current pressures we are all now facing as a result of COVID-19 and the struggle can turn a difficult situation into a real emergency like homelessness, food insecurity or an other financial crisis situation.
You can join the fight by lending your support in one of two ways:
1. United Way’s Emergency Basic Needs Fund —Learn more and donate at www.doyouliveunited.org/ebn
2. Emergency Action Fund–Learn more and donate at www.pittsburghfoundation.org/emergencyactionfund
3. Students and Families Food Relief Fund – Learn more and donate at https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/FoodRelief