DEAR HARRIETTE: How can I get involved with the community during the pandemic? I don’t have much money to give, but I have always been big on providing assistance directly through volunteering. With COVID-19, I am not comfortable going anywhere in public. I know there are still people out there with nowhere to go who need help, especially now that it’s winter and the infection rate is beginning to rise again. I want to do my part and be a part of the community, but I’m just not sure what I can do. Do you know of any organizations I can get involved with while staying safe? -- Stop the Spread
DEAR STOP THE SPREAD: Thank you for your generous spirit. Is it important to want to help others and to take that extra step to do so, especially during times like these. Thank goodness you are not alone in your desire to support people who are struggling during this time. Start by thinking of what you feel comfortable doing based on your level of risk or exposure to others. Some people feel comfortable putting on a mask and going to help sort food at a food kitchen. Others are leery of being in enclosed environments with other people. Consider your comfort level.
Go online to look for volunteer opportunities. They are plentiful, both nationally and locally. Often, local community centers, charitable organizations and houses of worship offer aid to people in need -- and, therefore, need helping hands. Some organizations that may help direct your steps include powerof.org, nationalservice.gov and mealsonwheelsamerica.org.