April is National Volunteer Month, but no one could have predicted that April 2020 would have a new household term: "essential volunteer." Read more about what it means to be an essential volunteer and how we can keep these integral individuals safe during the pandemic.
It's been about a month since Addison County (and the world) has had to adjust to this "new normal". Each week it feels like new restrictions are presented to help our community stay safe, and that definition of "new normal" needs to be tweaked with each order.
One vocabulary word that has been used often during this pandemic is "essential." Essential workers, essential goods, essential services. As a non-profit in Addison County, most of you rely on essential volunteers, but what does that mean? UWAC defines essential volunteer as:
"A person that actively takes on an essential task, responsibility, or project on his or her own accord without needing to be assigned, ordered, or told to do so. This person will work with community organizations, to help provide key services to those in need, for example, delivering groceries, medicine, or other essential items. This person must consciously follow guidelines for best practices in maintaining recommended hygiene while volunteering."
Which leads us to our next question - what are the best practices that we should ask our essential volunteers to practice? We have created this one-page checklist that can help with that. We encourage you to print and post this checklist in areas where essential volunteers are working as a reminder of the habits they need to uphold to keep our community safe.
We've also heard from some of you that an item that could be helpful in keeping your essential volunteers and the community safe are donations of face masks. If your organization is in need of face masks, please complete this form, and we will help match donations to you.
From all of us at United Way of Addison County, thank you to the essential volunteers for all that you are doing to keep our community safe and well-cared for during this time.