SALT LAKE CITY – It has been a difficult year for most people, with many looking for a way to give back this holiday Tuesday with the holiday season. As the COVID-19 epidemic continues to drive the health care system and economy, it seems that donations and volunteers are now needed more than ever.
While help is needed, it can be difficult to find ways to give back in order to limit contact with each other to spread the virus amid a global crisis – both Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah have kept health temporary. Prohibition of accepting volunteer applications until COVID-19 cases are reduced.
However, there are still plenty of ways to help. There are a handful of Utah services and donations to consider the donation of time, money or resources this holiday season.
The Utah State Hospital
Prior to the epidemic, Utah State Hospital had more than 300 volunteers per college semester – now, the number is about 20 to follow COVID-19 health guidelines.
“It’s tough for volunteers and for us, we love them and they like to come,” said Kemi Roundy, director of volunteer services at the hospital. He said there is a waiting list of about 100 volunteers eager to return after allowing the COVID-19 conditions.
For about 320 patients in the hospital, the epidemic took its toll, Roundy said. Since March, virtually all trips have been conducted and most recreational activities have been canceled due to COVID-19.
“They have done a lot for the whole time without visitors and do a lot,” she said.
One thing that the hospital is looking forward to is its annual Forgotten Patient Christmas Project, where community members or businesses can sponsor patients who would otherwise be forgotten due to lack of family or other circumstances. The sponsors then go Christmas shopping from their patient’s wish list.
But with the lack of volunteers and COVID-19 restrictions, it will be slightly different from previous years. Goldie reported that sponsors are not allowed to bring prewritten gifts to the facility due to security concerns, so the gifts are usually wrapped in a monitoring event. However, this year, this cannot happen.
Still, receiving specially chosen gifts for each of them would be an attraction for patients, she said.
“I think this will be the bright point for their year and give them something to look forward to and have a great time and know what they thought of,” Roundy said.
While Rowdy is confident that the hospital will get enough sponsors by Christmas, he said he usually has enough sponsors by the beginning of December. This has not been the case year, about 60 patients still need a sponsor.
Anyone wishing to participate in the hospital’s Forgotten Patient Christmas project can contact Rounder at 801-344-4254 or via email at [email protected]
Utah Office of the Public Guardian
The Utah Office of Public Guardian provides services for adults who are unable to take care of themselves and is accepting donations of cash or gift cards for employees to purchase items and gifts needed for these individuals.
Those wishing to donate can send a check or gift card:
Utah Office of the Public Guardian
195 N. 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
Anyone with questions can email [email protected] or call 801-538-8255.
Utah Food Bank
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation will match all Giving Tuesday donations (up to $ 25,000) to The Utah Food Bank, which distributed more than 44 million meals statewide last year, essentially doubling your contribution.
Volunteers are still accepted, with many health precautions placed.
Tuesday marked the first day of the #LightTheWorld initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was intended to spread joy and service during the holiday season.
This year, participants can sign up for service signals sent via text for ideas on how they can serve during an epidemic. Tuesday’s sign asked users to donate to a local charity or volunteer at a trusted nonprofit. Participants are also asked to share their experience on social media, so that others may also consider joining it.
People looking for other volunteer opportunities in their community can visit the church’s website JustServe.org, where people can find service projects in their area.
United way of salt lake
United Way Salt Lake, a local charity focused on creating sustainable solutions for people who are struggling academically, facing poverty and poor health, is also accepting donations and volunteers during the epidemic. Volunteers can find many opportunities for service, some of which can be done remotely.
Salt lake city mission
The Salt Lake City Mission, a nonprofit that helps the homeless and those experiencing poverty, is hosting a fundraiser to provide COVID-19 crisis food relief to needy people in the area.
How are you helping others during an epidemic? Tell us in the comments below.
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