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Nonprofits Need Your Help! Volunteers even more vital during COVID outbreak

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured, Senior Living

Published on July 01, 2020 with No Comments

Nonprofits need your help!

As Indiana transitions into its Back on Track plan, businesses and nonprofits are easing back into more activity. While businesses have the opportunity to bring employees back, nonprofits are facing the challenge of convincing volunteers to return as well.

Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of nonprofits, and they are needed now more than ever. Our network of nonprofits still seeks to serve our community members with the same mission and goals, but now we have to face new restrictions as well as possible public’s fears in the aftermath of the initial COVID outbreak. There remains a lot of uncertainty, and we hope that as people feel more comfortable with being out and about, they will return to their volunteer roles.

If you have always wanted to volunteer and never felt you had the time or where to find opportunities, now is your chance to jump in and get involved!

The United Way of Porter County has always collected the region’s volunteer opportunities in one place: nwivolunteer.org. Here you can browse needs posted by nonprofits and easily connect with these agencies.

The site has a special section that highlights opportunities related specifically to COVID. Some opportunities focus on in-person availability and some have less contact.

For example, Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana is hoping to help seniors stay connected through its Phone Pals program. Seniors can feel isolated in general and even moreso during these turbulent times. As the age group that is most vulnerable to COVID, many seniors may not feel comfortable leaving their homes. The Phone Pals program seeks community members to have conversations with clients and check in over the phone. Virtual training is provided.

If you are hoping to get out and about more yourself, Meals on Wheels is seeking volunteer drivers to deliver food to seniors.

Also, the United Way’s Regional Volunteer Center continues to seek help with personal protective equipment to distribute. This includes donations of homemade masks and gloves.

Porter County has always had a strong volunteer spirit that we know will remain resilient during these challenging times. We appreciate all of the community members who step up to make an impact right here in the region.

Extended Energy Assistance Program wrapping up

The Energy Assistance season is winding down.

The program, which helps those struggling to pay their energy bills, had been extended due to COVID concerns. The deadline to apply for assistance is July 31, 2020. If participants are approved, a payment is made to the client’s energy provider.

Community members can apply online through the EAP Connect website: https://ihcda.rhsconnect.com/portal.

Porter County residents new to the program can also download, fill out and mail in an application to PCACS. Access the application and receive more details at: https://www.portercountyacs.org/energy-assistance.

EAP applicants who have already received help during the 2019-20 season can apply for crisis assistance if they have a past due balance on their energy bills. To seek help, call Northwest Indiana Community Action at 1-800-826-7871, Option 1, and ask for EAP Crisis Assistance.

 

 

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About Bruce Lindner

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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