Sunday, March 29, 2020

Things you can do to help from home

This is a work in progress. I only got the idea today -- March 28, 2020. What I will now do is begin to contact nonprofit organizations to see if they have the kind of needs I described in the introductory post above. But, as I work on this more (this is now a few days later), I realize that what is essential is the simple idea itself: to help others remotely from one's home.

The "VIP" acronym is a catchy way to think about this and spread the word, but of course there are countless COVID-19 Very Important Persons out there who are not at home! They are all on the front lines if they are venturing forth, and many are downright heroes. But those of us who must stay home for one reason or another, or are advised to stay home, and, I must add, are fortunate enough to have a home to stay in, and also fortunate enough to have an income source that allows us some discretionary time, can also contribute our time and effort to helping out (in addition to making monetary donations if we are able). That is the idea I am trying to convey. Under the bizarre circumstances of our Brave New COVID-19 World, there could be a huge number of people in that kind of situation who are therefore potential Volunteers In Place.

With this idea in hand (or mind), each such person might do any of a number of things. For example:

Begin some private initiative at home, such as the person who began making masks to deliver or send to medical personnel.

Contact an organization whose work you are involved in or care about to see if they offer some kind of opportunity to help out from home. And if they don't, urge them to consider developing such an opportunity.

Set up (host, curate) a local covid19vip site in your own community. (Of course national and international organizations could also be listed on community sites.) Thus, click here to see the one I've set up for my community (which could be used as a template). Then contact me at jmarks AT newhaven DOT edu so that I can link to it from this global site.

If you have better computer skills than I, create an app for this site, or for your local VIP site. Or create software for those organizations that don’t yet offer remote opportunities so that they could take advantage of volunteers at home. As I suggested in the post above, this could turn out to be a permanent expansion of some organizations' effectiveness even beyond the virus's duration.

By the way, there must be others who have had the idea for a clearinghouse along these lines. A quick check on Google took me here, for example. Bravo! I'd just like to see this sort of thing become enlisted and widely known to help deal with our new circumstances. From this ordeal are coming countless opportunities for us to help one another.


PLEASE CONTACT THE CURATOR AT EACH LOCAL SITE IF YOU ARE A NONPROFIT THAT WOULD LIKE TO BE LISTED. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT jmarks AT newhaven DOT edu IF YOU HAVE A SITE YOU WOULD LIKE ME TO LINK TO FROM THIS GLOBAL SITE OR YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS OR ASSISTANCE TO OFFER THE VIP PROJECT. THANK YOU AND BE WELL. -- Joel Marks


Local sites listing examples of nonprofit organizations whose work you can help from home:

NEW HAVEN and environs in Connecticut, USA

UNITED STATES (and WORLD)