We recognize that many Ottawans are eager to volunteer their time and support their communities through the COVID-19 crisis. The non-profit sector is impacted by the crisis and many of the volunteer-based organizations have changed their usual processes and some of them promote only virtual opportunities as people self isolate and practice physical distancing. For example, Michael Allen, president and CEO of the United Way in Eastern Ontario, in an interview with CBD, stated that the Distress Centre of Ottawa is experiencing an increase in calls for mental health counselling services, but it may have to decentralize its call centre.
CBC also reports that neighbourhood networks, grassroots groups seeing to the needs of city's most vulnerable. For example, a group of residents in Hintonburg "… are offering to walk each other's dogs, to pick up people's prescriptions, to go shopping for people, to make a cheering phone call.” "One neighbour offered to stop outside someone's house with her baby to smile and wave." The group also is working to monitor the needs of seniors who may not be online. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-helps-volunteer-donate-covid-19-1.5500597
- VolunteerOttawa: Volunteer Ottawa encourages volunteers to consider virtual volunteering options, and to reach out to not-for-profits to ascertain their needs. VO is working with members to identify volunteer opportunities related specifically to those affected by COVID-19 and updates will be posted here https://www.volunteerottawa.ca/Volunteer_updateCOVID.html
- The Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario provides guidelines for Home Deliveries during the Covid19 Pandemic https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3Ac1e7a670-67eb-4d11-90bd-163eac3b361c
- Meals on Wheels Ottawa: looking for volunteer drivers https://www.mealsonwheels-ottawa.org/
- Champlain Community Support Network- If you are looking for ways to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking for volunteers to help with telephone safety checks, grocery deliveries, and more. To apply, send your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kids’ Help Phone- the Kids’ Help Phone is in need of volunteers to man it’s texting service. This is a vital resource for youth at anytime, but vulnerable youth are at heightened risk of seriously worsening mental health at this time. https://kidshelpphone.ca/get-involved/home/
- Glebe Neighbourhood Activities Group has created a neighbourly self-help group in the Glebe. You can sign up here and see also tons of great neighbourhood resources and ideas https://gnag.ca/covid-19-updates-and-activities/?fbclid=IwAR2JyoxjPGov0sHnCsUOLn9HLiQPoyRn1ovFVC_2hVMjr_m-RfDPy3DUuJ8.