United Way NCA Launches New Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

From kit-packing and writing notes of encouragement to mentoring young professionals, here’s how you can make a difference in the National Capital Area.

June 30, 2021 – As the National Capital Area recovers from the impact of 2020, which included an unprecedented pandemic and social unrest, we know that the need for volunteers and advocates for equity is greater than ever.

At United Way of the National Capital Area, we are dedicated to increasing equity in our region by improving the health, education and economic opportunity of all community members. But we cannot do the work alone. Dedicated volunteers make a true difference in our community and without their work, United Way NCA’s impact would not be nearly as large.

Now, United Way NCA is offering a multitude of new virtual volunteer opportunities that can be done individually or in groups. We’re offering ways to get involved by creating notecards of encouragement, packing kits for those in need and assisting with one of our economic opportunity programs.

Whether you have volunteered with United Way NCA in the past, are a new volunteer or are interested in corporate volunteer opportunities, one of our volunteer opportunities will be the right fit for you! See more details on each below.

Writing Notecards

Many of us have experienced great upheaval and turmoil in the past year. Sometimes, a small act of receiving a thoughtful note can make someone’s day. Through United Way NCA’s “Writing Digital Notecards” volunteer opportunity, you can take a moment to show how much you support critical members of our community by writing a note of encouragement that will be shared with them.

The notes can be written to local students, seniors, frontline essential workers and veterans, all community members who United Way NCA and our partners work closely with on a daily basis. Download the template and find further instructions on how to complete this volunteer opportunity here.

Kit-Packing

Help our community members in need by providing them with kits full of essentials, healthy food, educational materials and more. Kit-packing volunteer activities with United Way NCA vary from packing hygiene kits and cold-weather kits to financial literacy kits and more. We are offering a total of seven kit-packing volunteer opportunities at this time, which include:

Financial Literacy Kits

Through packing Financial Literacy Kits, you will help provide a mechanism for families and youth to talk about their finances and savings. United Way NCA will secure supplies and manage all event logistics, and we will make sure that the kits go to community members who will put them to good use.

This fun arts-and-crafts activity helps benefit individuals and our community members seeking to stabilize their finances and lives. Financial Literacy Kits include a ceramic savings bank, which can be personalized and decorated with words of encouragement and fun designs. Along with the savings bank, community members will also receive a children’s book focused on the importance of financial literacy and how life changing it can be when taught at a young age.

Healthy Meals for Families

Help to ensure community members have access to healthy and nutritious food! During this volunteer activity you will collect and pack necessities for families and individuals in need. United Way NCA will provide you with a list of requested items and then you will create 25 snack packs for the community.

The snack packs will include healthy food items such as granola bars, fruit and grain bars, fruit snacks, juice boxes, bottled water, popcorn (Popcorners brand), dry cereal and more.

Power Snack Packs

Ensure children have access to nutritious meals, an important health factor for the critical years of child development, to combat childhood obesity and other long-term health issues by creating Power Snack Packs with United Way NCA. These Power Snack Packs will be distributed to our nonprofit partners who work hand-in-hand with our community’s students every day.

The Power Snack Packs will include healthy items such as granola bars, fruit and grain bars, fruit snacks, juice boxes, bottled water, popcorn (Popcorners brand), dry cereal and more.

Hygiene Kits

Through this volunteer opportunity you will assemble Hygiene Kits full of essential supplies for community members in need, specifically collecting necessary items needed for individuals who are experiencing homelessness or enduring unstable living conditions. Packing Hygiene Kits provides individuals with necessary hygiene items for both men or women, depending on the contents of the kit.

Supplies included in the Hygiene Kits are products like toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, clothing items and more. Each Hygiene Kit at least includes 2 oz. hand and body lotion, 2 oz. shampoo and body wash, 2 oz. conditioner, 3 oz. deodorant soap, 6.4 oz. toothpaste with a toothbrush and a washcloth.

School Preparedness Kits

Many low-income families struggle to provide the essential tools necessary for their children to be successful in school. Through this volunteer opportunity, you will have an impact on children attending school both virtually and in person throughout the National Capital Area by assembling kits with needed school supplies, bringing encouragement to students and families in need. The school supplies provided in the School Preparedness Kits help to ensure education is attainable for students and that they are prepared to learn every day.

School Preparedness Kit items include crayons (8-packs), a large glue stick, a composition book (100 sheets), index cards (3×5), pencil cases/pouches (for 3-ring binders), black or blue pens, filler paper (120 sheets), a pocket folder, No. 2 pencils, a crayon/pencil sharpener, highlighters, 1′ binders and a backpack.

Cold Weather Kits

For this kit-packing activity, volunteers assemble kits with essential winter supplies needed by community members at risk of or experiencing homelessness. Individual volunteers or groups of volunteers are encouraged to collect new and gently used items for donations to pack Cold Weather Kits, including items like blankets, gloves, hats, underwear, a towel and a washcloth.

Veteran Move-In Kits

Many veterans transitioning into civilian life are in need of typical household items to help them get started in their new homes. Kits include items like sponges, dish towels, wash clothes, trash bags, paper products, towels, a laundry basket, a bed sheet set and a pillow. By participating in this volunteer opportunity, you are giving back to those who selflessly have served our country.

Economic Opportunity Volunteer Opportunities

The keys to financial and professional success are not easy to access for many of our community members. Through these volunteer opportunities focused on increasing economic opportunity in our region, you can mentor those who need it most. Below, find details on the four economic opportunity volunteer opportunities we are seeking volunteers for at this time.

Small Business Workshop

Building a business is no easy feat. From writing a business plan to marketing, you often have to do it all as a solo entrepreneur. Have you been through the grind and come out the other side with a successful business?

Here is your opportunity to share your success story and inspire others to create theirs. You can help develop our community by supporting aspiring entrepreneurs through our “Building a Business” seminar events. As a subject matter expert, let us know your area of expertise when you register. If selected by our team, you will facilitate a training session on your chosen subject for up to three hours for an audience consisting of career professionals, local small business owners and other community members. We will work with you to create a presentation and/or curriculum.

Resume Writing/Professional Development

The job market is finally opening up after a devastating year for many workers. Writing an effective resume and developing a complete LinkedIn profile is more of an art than science. A well-written resume tells a compelling story. A great LinkedIn profile develops a personal brand. Both have become essential assets for employers to vet prospective hires.

If you possess these skills and have found success in the job market with your resume and LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-to-one resume writing/professional development session with an individual seeking job opportunities.

During this volunteer activity, selected volunteers will connect directly with individuals for coaching and working sessions to improve their professional profiles online, as well as provide them with tips for writing resumes, cover letters and more.

Virtual Career Day

United Way NCA is planning a Career Day for high school students. As part of our workforce development strategy, we aim to prepare young people to meet the workforce challenges of tomorrow with a focus on career planning, importance of mentorship, continued education, networking and communication skills.

We are seeking professionals spanning different industries from finance, engineering and science to sports and entertainment to share their career journeys, challenges and industry knowledge. The virtual Career Day could include informational sessions, Q&A and/or breakout sessions.

Virtual Field Trips

Take students around the DMV area, or around the block, and open their eyes to the magnificent world around them from the comfort of their home or classroom! We are looking for motivated virtual tour guides with a bent toward creativity and exploration to provide virtual experiences for middle and high school students.

Do you have a favorite part of the city or historical site that you would like to share? We are interested in locations that have significance to the local community or the National Capital Area. These virtual field trips can be up to two hours long. United Way NCA will work with you to design the activity. Ideally, we would like to showcase venues that may not always be available for typical school field trips.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with United Way NCA! For more information on volunteering, as well as other ways to get involved, visit unitedwaynca.org/get-involved.

About United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the National Capital Area improves the health, education and economic opportunity of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties for more than 45 years. In 2020, United Way NCA was among 384 organizations across the United States to receive a generous transformational investment from novelist and venture philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.

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