Here's how to help during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

Here's how to help during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic

From the The COVID-19 pandemic hits home: Keep up with the latest local news on the coronavirus outbreak series
Rachel putting food in cooler

Meals on Wheels volunteer Rachel Desertspring puts meals in a cooler on the Madison porch of client John Hicks. Independent Living, which runs the dinner program in Madison, and SSM Health at Home, which runs the lunch program, have been serving more people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 crisis has left a lot of people hurting — and a lot of others looking for ways they can step up to help.

As Fred Rogers said, in a time of crisis, “Look for the helpers”.

Volunteers should take the same precautions as anyone else: Stay at least 6 feet away from others, wash your hands frequently and limit your outside work to essential services. If you're over 65 or have a serious underlying medical condition such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, you should look for activities that can be done from home.

Volunteers should also not have, or live with people who have, symptoms of COVID-19. 

But if you're healthy and able, Volunteer Wisconsin, a partnership of the United Way of Wisconsin and Serve Wisconsin, can put you touch with people and organizations in need. Those include:

  • Remote or in-home projects that can be done over the phone or by computer, making items for those in need or finding ways to check in with neighbors.
  • Information on donating food, supplies or blood.
  • In-person volunteering for meal or food distribution, delivery of needed supplies to homes, child care for medical and other critical workers, or other projects.

For more information, visit Volunteer Wisconsin at

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