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18 socially-distanced volunteer ideas

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Put your passion into action

Get started by using our three turnkey resources and 18 virtual volunteer ideas below.

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Thrivent Action Teams

This is the ideal time to get involved in your community and apply to lead a Thrivent Action Team.

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Local Volunteer Database

Looking for volunteer opportunities? Start with this database created by our friends at Points of Light.

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Passion into Action Toolkit

This toolkit, designed by Points of Light, will help you make the most of your volunteer experience.

Make an impact—even from a distance

  • Get crafty

    Get crafty

    Make a bird feeder

    Nature needs a hand, too. Something as simple as spreading peanut butter on a pinecone and dipping it in birdseed goes a long way for feathered friends. Pass out instructions and materials around the neighborhood. After they have assembled their bird feeder, ask people to share photos of where they hung their feeder and the types of bird visitors they are seeing.

    Chalk art fundraiser

    Raise funds for a local organization through chalk art. Ask local artists or kids to draw the chalk art on the driveways of those who purchased the service.

    Make or sew cat and dog toys

    Make or sew cat and dog toys to donate to local animal shelters for them to sell or use with their animals. You could also sew or make fleece or flannel blankets to be used as cage liners. Drop materials off at team members’ homes and set up an online meeting to assemble them as a virtual team.

  • Get outdoors

    Get outdoors

    Fitness fundraiser

    Host a socially distanced fitness class in the park as a fundraiser. Ask someone to lead the fitness class and encourage donations for those that who attend. Use the seed money to purchase waters and after-class snacks.

    Help clean up a local community park

    Gather a group of people to help clean up local parks or trails. Use the seed money to purchase shovels, bags for garbage clean up, gloves, etc.

    Plant a community garden

    Teaching kids where food comes from is a great lesson. Start a garden with people in your community and donate the fresh produce to people in need.

    Online plant sale fundraiser

    Purchase plants and host an online plant sale fundraiser. Collect donations online and recruit your team to help drop off purchased plants at doorsteps.

    Host a virtual race

    Select a non-profit partner and a month timeframe. Join others in a 5K, 10K or half marathon, completed at once or throughout the entire month. Run, walk, swim, bike or whatever you choose. In lieu of paying a race registration fee, suggest a recommended donation amount be contributed to the selected non-profit partner. Consider using the seed money for promotion of the event or to order race day T-shirts for participants.

  • Take a bite out of hunger

    Take a bite out of hunger

    Donate to local shelters or food pantries

    Emergency shelters are struggling to provide toiletries and other essentials for people experiencing homelessness. Organize a small group of volunteers to shop, put kits together and deliver kit supplies to local shelters to keep their clients safe and healthy. Contact your local shelter for a list of specific items needed. Seed money can buy supplies.

    Host a drive-thru donation fundraiser

    Together with a team, host an outdoor drive-thru fundraiser and encourage the community to drop off donations of food and hygiene products for the local food pantry or local community service organizations.

    Provide meal pickup for families experiencing food insecurity

    Provide a "grab and go" option for kids or families. Use the seed money to help gather food, prepare bagged lunches, and distribute them in various locations, as a drive-thru or walk-up service. Ask your volunteers to write encouraging notes or include kids activity packs with the food delivery to bring joy during this time.

  • Support our front lines

    Support our front lines

    Encourage health care workers

    Have a local restaurant prepare meals or coffee and treats for our health care workers who are working long hours due to the Coronavirus. Supporting local small businesses during this difficult time as well as health care workers is a win-win for everyone. Write letters or make cards to include with the food to say “thank you” to those who are continuing to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Step up for essential workers

    Helping those around you builds community, encourages kindness and teaches responsibility. Offer to help people making a difference on the frontlines with yard work, a meal delivery, or carry groceries in from their car.

    Box up sustenance for our vaccine and testing sites

    Create snack kits for those supporting our vaccine and testing sites. Shop online or in person. Include fun treats and sustaining snacks and a personalized note to brighten spirits. Volunteers can purchase kit items, pack boxes and deliver meal kits to local vaccine and testing sites.

  • Serve your neighbors

    Serve your neighbors

    Encourage literacy with a tiny library

    Daily reading is crucial for students to continue to grow in their literacy skills. Build a little library in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors to drop off books to share. Seed money can be used to purchase materials to build the library. A variation on this idea is to do a pop-up food pantry.

    Kits for kids

    Help keep kids busy during their time at home. Together with your team, order online or purchase markers and coloring books, math activity books, fun crafts or STEM projects to keep kids learning and engaged when school might look different right now. Drop off the kits with neighbors, friends and family, or see if a local community center can help distribute to families.

    Serve your neighbors

    Helping those around you builds community, encourages kindness and teaches responsibility. Offer to help neighbors with yard work, make them a meal, or carry groceries in from their car.

    Virtual education event

    Start a virtual book study or host a virtual speaker event to learn more and educate others on the topic of racial justice and reconciliation. Purchase books or relevant learning materials to go along with the event.

Important: Be sure to review and follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control as well as additional guidelines by public and health officials in your community.

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