Sixty-five percent of Americans said the pandemic has provided them with a “wake-up call” to reach out to their communities.
And a new survey of 2,000 Americans revealed more than half are doing just that by volunteering.
In fact, 52% reported volunteering in their communities for the very first time as a result of the circumstances brought on by the pandemic.
Delivering food to essential workers (35%), volunteering to help the elderly or incapacitated maintain their homes (23%) and volunteering at a food pantry (20%) were among the most common ways respondents had volunteered since the start of the pandemic.
Yet seven out of 10 respondents reported that, while the effects of COVID-19 on their community made them more eager to volunteer, they’ve hesitated due to safety concerns.
The survey also examined the safety precautions that would make them feel more confident lending a helping hand in their communities.
Among those who agreed that they had hesitated to volunteer due to safety concerns, 56% reported concern about the availability of hand-washing and hand sanitizing stations, making this the most common worry.
Other common concerns among this group included whether or not mask-wearing would be required at the site (50%) and whether or not social distancing would be mandated (44%).
“To avoid anxiety about supplies at job sites, be sure to bring your own bottle of hand sanitizer to help you and others stay safe,” said Tara Merkle, of Muse Health Hand Sanitizer, which sponsored the poll.
For over a third of respondents, the motivation to volunteer came from close to home. 35% reported that their primary reason for stepping up was knowing about friends and neighbors in need, which made them want to contribute.
And 17% said their friends and neighbors who were helping out inspired them to do the same.
The uptick in volunteering may well continue post-pandemic, too, according to the survey, conducted by OnePoll.
73% agreed that while donating money or items to help the community is great, using their hands to get out there and do the work is more fulfilling.
Best of all, nearly seven in 10 reported that, as more people become vaccinated, they hope to increase their time spent volunteering.
MOST COMMON VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC
Delivering food to essential workers (35%)
Volunteering to help elderly or incapacitated neighbors maintain their homes (23%)
Collecting items for food pantries (21%)
Volunteering at a food pantry (20%)
Donating blood (19%)
“It’s commendable, and heartening, to see so many Americans stepping up to lend a helping hand in their communities during this challenging time,” added Tara, whose company is celebrating the selfless individuals who are giving back.
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