As members of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine community, many of us are wondering how we can help during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Johns Hopkins Incident Command Center, several deans and students are periodically sending out emails containing information on volunteering opportunities. None of these experiences will involve clinical exposure. There will be precautions to maintain social distancing, and sanitation equipment (hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, etc.) will be provided. Keep your eyes peeled for any changes to the information listed below. Please note that many of these opportunities are only open to volunteers from within the Hopkins family.
Ways You Can Help Through Johns Hopkins
Mask Sewing: You can put your sewing skills to good use by following the template provided here. Once you are finished, you can drop your masks off at a box on the sidewalk near the McElderry Street Garage exit: 601 N. Caroline St., Baltimore, MD 21287.
Driving Supplies to Other Hopkins Hospitals: This is a great way to help if you have a valid driver’s license. You will not have to use your own vehicle. Sign up here!
Face Shield Construction: Construction is taking place daily at the Johns Hopkins Consolidated Services Center. Volunteers are asked to come on site for 4-hour shifts to assist in constructing face fields—cutting with scissors and razor blades, hot gluing, and stapling. Warehouse volunteering is now open to non-Hopkins affiliates! Sign up here!
Ways You Can Help in Your Community
Call Your Neighbors: If you have elderly neighbors, they might need you now more than ever. You can ask them if they need groceries or other necessities and offer to drop these off at their front door.
Donate to a Food Bank: Many local food banks are in great need of food and monetary donations. If you cannot find a local food bank, consider donating to organizations like Feeding America, No Kid Hungry and Meals on Wheels.
Donate Blood: The American Red Cross is facing a huge blood shortage due to blood drive cancellations during the pandemic. You can help out by donating at a blood drive near you.
Donate Funds: There are countless nonprofit organizations, such as the CDC foundation, Direct Relief, Salvation Army and your local nonprofits, in need of funds to support people in this time of need.
Join the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps: Gov. Larry Hogan recently activated the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps and is encouraging volunteers to join. The organization is recruiting licensed health care professionals, recently retired health care professionals, health care students and volunteers interested in emergency response. Specific tasks will be outlined in the volunteer request.
Virtual Volunteering: There are many ways to help from the comfort and safety of your own home. For example, you can join one of the many email/mailing lists to help fight isolation during this time of social distancing. An example of one of these mailing lists is Apart Not Alone, which virtually connects seniors with young adults. You can sign up here.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the available volunteering opportunities. Your local community may have many other ways in which you can get involved today!
Want to read more from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine? Subscribe to the Biomedical Odyssey blog and receive new posts directly in your inbox.