A recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Muse Health Hand Sanitizer revealed a large increase in volunteering recently. 65% of those surveyed said the pandemic gave them a wake-up call to help more in their communities.
The survey surveyed 2,000 Americans and found that 52% began volunteering for the first time due to the pandemic.
The most common ways Americans volunteered included:
- Delivery of food to essential workers (35%);
- Volunteer to help the elderly or disabled maintain their homes (23%), and;
- Volunteering at a food pantry (20%)
However, 70% of those surveyed said they were hesitant to volunteer due to safety concerns during the pandemic. They wanted to help their communities, but were concerned about getting sick in the process.
Because of these responses, the survey asked questions about safety precautions that would make them feel more comfortable. volunteering. The most common concerns among those who doubted about volunteering included the following:
- the availability of hand washing and disinfection stations (56%);
- whether or not the use of masks would be required on the site (50%) and;
- whether social distancing would be mandatory or not (44%)
“It is understandable that many feel held back by uncertainty about security situations in places where they are interested in volunteering their time,” said Tara Merkle, senior director of marketing for Muse Health Hand Sanitizer. “To avoid anxiety over workplace supplies, which in many volunteer and charity situations can be extremely limited, be sure to bring your own bottle of hand sanitizer to help keep yourself and others safe. “.
A third of those surveyed said that people close to them motivated them to volunteer. 35% said the main reason they decided to help was to hear from friends and neighbors in need. 17% said that seeing their friends and neighbors volunteering made them want to follow in his footsteps.
How Thousands of People Volunteer During the Pandemic
The increase in volunteering may continue after the pandemic, as new volunteers say it has positively impacted them. 73% said they enjoyed donating money or items to support the community. However, they found more satisfaction by going out and doing practical work. Nearly seven in 10 respondents reported that they expect to volunteer even more as vaccination rates increase.
The most common ways people volunteer during the pandemic include:
- Delivering food to essential workers (35%)
- Volunteer to help elderly or disabled neighbors maintain their homes (23%)
- Collection of items for food pantries (21%)
- Volunteering at a food pantry (20%)
- Blood donation (19%)
“It is commendable and encouraging to see so many Americans stepping forward to help their communities during this challenging time. That’s why we created the #HandsOnMovement, to celebrate selfless people who are giving back to their communities, ”added Tara. “Safety precautions, such as the use of hand sanitizer, will be key to making volunteering a sustainable reality for as long as the pandemic guarantees it, so being prepared is essential.”
Other Ways People Helped Others During the Pandemic
Thousands of people around the world donated their time and efforts to the making masks for their communities. Some even made them for hospital workers who didn’t have enough supplies for everyone. While cloth masks cannot replace N95 respirators, they still help stop the spread of the virus. People created Facebook groups to coordinate where to send the masks or give tips on how to sew them for newcomers.
Others offered to buy food or basic goods. for elderly neighbors or anyone else who cannot leave the house. Some caregivers even sanitized and cleaned their homes to make sure the virus didn’t spread.
Churches organized to make care boxes for those in quarantine or for the elderly in the community. Some of the church children even volunteered to walk dogs, shovel snow, or run other errands. Others bought food for their neighbors who had lost their jobs or had young children at home.
How else did Americans help each other?
In addition to volunteering, 56% of American households participated in charitable giving during the pandemic. According to a report by Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), 33% donated directly to charities, individuals or companies. The report surveyed 3,405 people in the US in May 2020. The percentage of people who volunteered or donated to charities seemed consistent with previous disasters.
Even with the financial setbacks due to the pandemic, people in the United States still donated money to charities. Yet some American households helped in unexpected ways. Almost half of those surveyed, 48.3%, donated to charities indirectly during the pandemic.
People continued to order takeout from local restaurants to help keep businesses that had to close their dining areas afloat. Others bought gift cards at their favorite places or offered to pay for someone’s food or drinks at the drive-thru lines. Some people even continued to pay for services like house cleaning or daycare, regardless of whether they used them or not.
While these examples do not normally constitute charity, these acts of kindness helped some people maintain their livelihoods during the pandemic. Ordering take-out became not only a way to enjoy a meal, but also to help businesses keep their doors open. Buying food for neighbors, in some cases, made the difference between life and death. Despite the tragedies stemming from the pandemic, people have come together to help like never before.
Final thoughts: 52% of Americans began volunteering for the first time during the pandemic
The pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, but it has also brought out the best in people. Communities around the world have come together to ask neighbors what they need to help them get ahead. People made masks for others, donated blood, volunteered at food pantries, and prepared meals for first responders. These are just a few examples of the generosity and kindness that people have shown during the pandemic.
Volunteering benefits both the person who receives help and the person who gives it. We are all one, after all, and in times of need, that becomes more apparent than ever. Did you volunteer during the pandemic? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.