May 5, 2020 | Comments Off on Staying In Touch: Virtual Volunteers At Alexander
Volunteerism at Alexander Youth Network continues through virtual platforms.
Since March, Alexander Youth Network has had a strict policy in preventing visitors including family and volunteers from coming to campus, thus halting our in-person volunteer activities and reducing the spread of COVID-19. However, our volunteers have not been stalled and have gotten creative on how to stay connected to the kids at Alexander.
Some of our volunteers have gone old school by writing their lunch or dinner buddies letters to be sent in the mail. Others have been writing weekly emails for our kids since their weekly meals have been postponed. These little notes have provided a sense of stability and comfort for our kids who during this time of unprecedented change are experiencing higher stress and isolation. We are grateful for our amazing buddies, who have kept these relationships top priority over the past few weeks!
Aside from our buddy program, other volunteer programs have shifted to a remote model. This includes our bible study programs, pen-pals, birthdays, and holidays. While we may not be hosting activities on campus our volunteer program is still going strong.
Current Volunteer Activities
Several of our volunteer groups have thought outside of the box when it comes to ways to stay engaged. Our Hickory Grove Baptist Bible Study volunteers are offering virtual Bible study for the children who choose to participate. The women of Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, who originally planned an Easter party for our kids, continued the activity by providing all of the easter eggs and activities. Though they were not able to join, the kids still were able to enjoy a break from their normal routines for the fun celebration.
Our team is working on partnering with Southminster Retirement Community to start a pen pal program for the children in our Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. This additional communication will be a wonderful opportunity for them to practice their writing and artistic skills as they make cards and write letters to their new pals. We hope that this program will be rewarding and meaningful for both the child and the adult, and something we can continue in the future long after the Stay at Home orders have been lifted and our campus is able to welcome visitors again. Every connection our kids make is a step toward building hope!
How to get involved:
For those looking for an opportunity to get involved in the comfort and safety of your own home, we are also recruiting volunteers to help with spring care packages to be distributed to the children in our various programs. This is a fun opportunity for the whole family while everyone is staying at home. To find out more, please contact Ashley Nieves, Volunteer Engagement Officer.
Written by Lynn Crutchfield.