Volunteer turnout low amid coronavirus fears, here's how you can help

Sunday, March 15, 2020
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Social distancing is taking a toll on some local nonprofits as they continue to see volunteers cancel, but the option to help remotely is now an option.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Amber Smith has a passion for volunteering -- so much so that while a student at NC State 15 years ago she started Activate Good, a nonprofit that connects volunteers to some 500 Triangle charities.

But now with COVID-19 threatening day to day activities, Smith said fewer people are stepping out to volunteer.

Smith said that within the last week, a couple hundred of people have opted to step away from volunteering.

"...Which means the nonprofits who are serving meals to our friends who are homeless or trying to meet the basic needs to kids in schools, they are working with much less manpower, which is critical if needs can't be met," Smith said.

Starting Monday, all public schools in North Carolina will close their doors.

"We have a couple of amazing nonprofits who do this sort of thing throughout the year," Smith said. "They're feeding kids, but with the schools out they have to ramp up their efforts and now they have to do it on less volunteer power."

Smith also noted that fewer volunteers often means fewer donations.

Despite social distancing, volunteering is still an option for those who want to serve while opting to social distance via remote volunteering.

"Things like checking on isolated seniors just using your phone on your computer, or doing research or data entry, or fund research for causes who are going to need financial resources when we all recover for this," Smith said.

Click here to learn more about social distancing.