1. Help out elderly or vulnerable family members or neighbours
Just slide a note under your neighbours’ doors or shoot an email off to your family letting them know you can help them out. This can be picking up groceries or prescriptions, walking their dog, mowing their lawn, teaching them how to use Zoom or other online services (I know my grandparents struggle a lot with this one), or even just having a chat with them on the phone to keep them from being too lonely.
2. Fundraise for COVID-19 efforts by selling your creations
Feeling like getting creative? Fundraise by selling things you enjoy making—from paintings to pottery, drawings to photography, people are always more likely to chip in when they know what they’re buying is going towards a good cause. You can sell on social media or advertising around your neighbourhood. This is also a great way to stay entertained and spend time doing things you enjoy that you normally don’t have time to do during the school year. You can donate the profits to your local hospital or food bank to make a local impact.
3. Write to government reps about your concerns
There have been a lot of changes introduced in response to the pandemic by various levels of government, and lots of changes that many of us would still like to see (personally, I think some roads need to be closed to vehicles for improved pedestrian distancing). A great way to voice your opinions, which are likely shared by those in your community, is by writing letters to your city, provincial/state, or federal government representatives. If you write to your MP, you can send it postage-free to their Ottawa address. You can always email them as well. Their contact info is easy to find online.
4. Donate blood
Canadian Blood Services is seeing an immense decline in donors, and operating rooms across the country need your blood! Donating blood is a safe thing to do during the pandemic if you’re healthy and haven’t been in contact with anyone diagnosed or awaiting test results for COVID-19. You can sign up and find your local clinic at blood.ca (plus, you get great post-donation snacks).
5. Volunteer to do online tutoring sessions
Many parents are struggling to keep their kids occupied and learning, especially those still working in essential services. As a Dal student, I’m sure you’re qualified to tutor some neighbourhood kiddos on Grade 6 geography (or whatever, really!). This is another great way to help out your neighbours. Spread the word about your services by contacting your old elementary school to send out your contact information to parents, or contact your supermarket or hospital if you want to target towards parents who are essential workers.