Volunteer Response to COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We truly appreciate all who want to be involved as we face this emergency! As you use this site to find ways to volunteer, keep in mind that organizations are adapting their services and volunteer opportunities in alignment with current health guidance and the evolving needs of our community. We urge you to be flexible, proactive, and safe in your volunteer response, and to check back frequently for updates. 

Organized Ways You Can Help

Resources for Unaffiliated Volunteers

Are you looking for ways to organize or find neighborhood help in your community? While the Volunteer Center focuses on connecting volunteers with official nonprofit and government agencies, here are some emerging grassroots ways that neighbors are assisting neighbors or organizing special volunteer activities through this emergency. (If you have suggestions for additions to this list, please email us at volunteer@montgomerycountymd.gov.)
  You can join this online neighborhood communications platform to follow and contribute to discussions about volunteer efforts. Plus, it now features Nextdoor Help Maps, which allow you to sign up to offer a particular type of assistance to other residents in your community. (If seeking help, you can message any of those who have offered.) In addition, your neighborhood may have special Nextdoor Groups devoted to volunteering or COVID-19.
 
Other Neighborhood Email Groups
Many neighborhoods, school clusters, and zip codes in Montgomery County have active listservs on Groups.io and/or Google Groups (and some may still be using Yahoo Groups, which is ceasing support and therefore has lost many groups). Discussions often center on COVID-19, including ways to serve during this emergency. 
 
Communities Unbreakable Rockville
This community-led effort uses an online tool to connect people to help provide non-urgent community support. The organizers built their platform on free technology and have offered technical assistance for other neighborhood groups that could make use of the platform. For more information, email communitiesunbreakablemoco@gmail.com.

Teens Helping Seniors
High school students are coordinating a group of teen and adult volunteers to deliver (through no contact) essential supplies to older residents in a growing list of communities, including Germantown, Rockville, Potomac, Bethesda, and Silver Spring. Email teenshelpingseniors@gmail.com to get involved.
 
Taking Care While Being a Good Neighbor

As you reach out to help others, please protect yourself and those you are serving by taking the following precautions developed by Montgomery County’s Office of Emergency Management and Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Stay home from work, school, and all activities when you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms, which may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
  • Keep away from others who are sick.
  • Limit close physical contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet).
  • Call, email, or text your neighbors who may need help.
  • If they are in need of immediate emergency care, call 911.
  • Limit your help to non-contact activities. For example:
    • Leave groceries on the doorstep. (Do not enter their house.)
    • Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands before touching anything you deliver to them.
    • To promote social interactions and combat loneliness, speak with neighbors on the phone or by video chat (versus going into their homes) on a regular basis.
    • Conduct research on their needs and provide them with resources or connect them directly with help such as feeding, transportation to medical appointments, animal services, etc.
    • Alert authorities if you think that a neighbor is in danger.
  • Do not act on your own.
  • Create an online network for your community.
  • Remember to protect yourself first! Do not put yourself or others at risk.

Information for Organizations 

See our COVID-19 for agencies page for details on flagging your opportunities as "emergency response," recruiting "virtual volunteers," and more.