National Volunteer Month | Channeling Negative Energy into Positive

Sharing some of my experience with community service, my plans for April, and how you can help local organizations near you without going to volunteer while we are all practicing social distancing. 

The world is scary right now and I would be lying to you if I said I was in good spirits. I've been carrying an excessive amount of negative energy, and it's time I try to channel my anxiety and sadness into something positive.

Community service. It does so much for your soul. 

Volunteering and giving back through community service can help your mental health and even combat depression. It can help you feel happy during times of uncertainty. There's a special feeling you get when you serve your community--and it gives you a purpose even when you feel hopeless.

With COVID-19, our local communities are being slammed with adversity now more than ever. Even though we've been instructed to stay indoors to prevent the spread of the virus, there are still plenty of ways you can take part in National Volunteer Month. 

Through April, which also happens to be National Volunteer Month, I invite you to join me in planning out ways that you can better your community by giving back your time or raising charitable funds if you have the means. Since so many people have been laid off or sent home without pay due to COVID-19, I realize most of us won't have the finances to give back right now. Instead, we can use this time to map out how we want to pledge to give back to our community once it is safe to be out and about again and we're no longer being instructed to practice social distancing. 

Today, I want to share with you some of my plans that I have in mind for April and how I'm going to shift my focus into something positive and make bigger strides to help my Arizona community. 

When I was a student at Arizona State University, I pledged and served as a sister of Omega Phi Alpha. The women who I had the privilege of meeting in college became my sisters, and beyond college, have remained some of my closest girlfriends. Sisterhood is incredible, and I'm fortunate that my sorority gave me an opportunity to meet women who continue to inspire me as well as the chance to give back through community service. 

As a sister of Omega Phi Alpha, I had numerous opportunities to pledge my time to wonderful organizations that gave back to our community including but not limited to American Cancer Society, Feed My Starving Children, Relay for Life, MLK Day of Service, StreeLightUSA, Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent de Paul, the local Girl Scout troops, and working on larger community service projects alongside other Panhellenic sororities and fraternities at Arizona State University. 

While I am at home self-quarantining and practicing social distancing, I am doing what I can to help organizations that directly impact Arizona. 

First off, I am starting my commitment this month for National Volunteer Month by donating 100% of the earnings I make from my Poshmark sales to Go with the Flow AZ. 

Go with the Flow AZ is a non-profit organization that provides menstrual hygiene products to students in Arizona. It was founded a few years ago when a teacher who had been providing these products to her students learned that the school had insufficient funding and could not provide these essential products to students in need. Coupled with inadequate supplies of essential feminine health products and learning how students were skipping school when they were on their period because they didn't have them at home, Go with the Flow was founded as an organization that provides Arizona schools with period packs--small bags that contain tampons, sanitary napkins, and panty liners. 

As a former educator and someone with a passion for women's health, Go with the Flow AZ is an organization I will happily support in whatever way I can. I intend to also donate boxes of products once the social distancing order has been lifted, but so far, I have raised and donated $63 to Go with the Flow AZ. I know it's not a lot of money, but it's something I can do from the comfort of my home while I am practicing social distancing. 

If you'd like to support Go with the Flow AZ, here is a link to their website if you wish to donate. 

Also, while I cannot go and donate any items at this time, I do plan on making donations to local food drives. We have been trying to stock up our pantry with only the food items that we need to feed our family, but once our grocery store shelves start filling up with food, I will begin grabbing a couple extra cans of items to bring home and donate at a later time.

Finally, depending on when the lift for social distancing happens, I've already begun planning some community service events alongside a few of my local sorority sisters. A couple of the local Arizona organizations we are planning to volunteer at are Feed My Starving Children and StreetLightUSASo that's my plan for right now, and I will continue to brainstorm ways to give back throughout National Volunteer month. 

How can you help? Start with finding just one organization that benefits your local community. Research what you can do to help them, how you can get involved, and then go from there. 

Other ways you can help non-profits while you're social distancing:
-sign up for future events they are hosting
-follow them on social media and share their posts
-start an online fundraiser through Facebook or Instagram for your local organizations you're passionate about
-research what local organizations need right now, and if they offer contact-free donation pick-ups from your home
-write letters to your local senator/representative when it's applicable to help local organizations
-look for contact-free activities you can participate in to help the community (e.g. plant a tree)

Feel free to share this post to Facebook so you can remind your friends that it's National Volunteer Month!

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  1. I love to volunteer when I can. Right now I just volunteer to donate stuff if someone needs it. For example, toilet paper. We've been sharing in the neighborhood since it's hard to find!

  2. Great ideas on supporting the community while quarantined...I think a lot of us feel a little helpless right now but this is a great way to give back.

  3. I love the idea of community service while social distancing. If we have any extra time, it should be spent helping others.

  4. These are some great ideas. I am all for donating. Thanks for sharing your plans with us. Its inspiring me to do more.

  5. These are really great tips. I had no idea April was National Volunteer Month.

  6. THose are good ideas. Our family does volunteer work, but I had no idea to do it during quarantine.

  7. Now that I have more time, doing community service is a consideration. I love helping.

  8. It is so important to give back and volunteer specially now that we are experiencing so many challenges. I support locally second harvest.

  9. It-s good to know that there are things that I can do for other and still be social distancing! Thanks for these ideas!

  10. I've just heard of these organizations today so thank you for sharing them. It is always great to give back and share our blessings. -LYNNDEE

  11. Tons of great ideas. I thought about selling on Poshmark, but I would be afraid to purchase anything on there and we think others feel the same. I HOPE this is NOT the case. We have a few local businesses where if you purchase a gift card they will donate one, so I am trying my best to do what I can.

  12. I really admire and appreciate your idea of community service while social distancing. I didn't know that April was a National Volunteer month!

  13. What great ideas! I had no idea how to still do community service while we are under the social distancing order

  14. This is a great reminder that we still need to help others, even when things don't feel like they're going out way. I'm helping elderly in our neighborhood by running errands.

  15. I think it's very important to support the local community during this pandemic. Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas.

  16. Love this post and how positive it is about still being able to help even now with social distancing and I agree to signing up for future events and sharing things on social media

    Laura x

  17. It is good to be thinking about paying it forward even while we are stuck at home. Thanks for the ideas.

  18. I love taking my son places to volunteer, I cannot wait for things to go back to normal and go back to volunteer at the shelter

  19. Volunteering has never been more important. Our community needs us!


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