Skip to content Skip to navigation

Community Care

Senior Class Project at the Dish 2019
Mar 23 2020

Stay engaged with service during the public health emergency. Contributing to community efforts can empower you and help you empower others. Discover ways to stay informed, strengthen community, contribute to causes you care about, and support essential services while following local and national public health orders and social distancing guidelines. When engaging in service, you should also consider how you can contribute to the efforts already underway in your community as well as how your work aligns with the Principles of Ethical and Effective Service.

NOTE: The most important contribution you can make to your community right now is to abide by public health orders and social distancing guidelines to protect yourself and others around you. Engage with service in ways that are consistent with current guidance, and a good fit for you given your individual circumstances.

Stay informed

  • Subscribe to the Cardinal Service digest to receive good-news stories and fresh remote service ideas weekly. New issues will resume in the fall.

  • Learn how to be a good neighbor during a public health emergency.

Take action for racial justice

Strengthen community remotely

Contribute to causes you care about through remote action

  • Support urgent needs in critical issue areas (defense of democracy, basic needs, public health, and global climate change) by getting involved in remote part-time opportunities, project-based work, or summer internships.

  • Discover a virtual volunteering opportunity through VolunteerMatch or Catchafire.

  • Browse Oparkash’s network and apply for online volunteering positions with grassroots social impact organizations in over 40 countries around the world.

  • Visit GivePulse for virtual and remote volunteer guidelines and suggestions.

  • Educate yourself about global hunger through End Hunger in 30.

  • Fill out your Census form and support the Census effort by sharing information on social media. Learn more on the Census@Stanford webpage.

  • Work on a campaign remotely.

  • Sign online petitions for causes you care about.

  • Encourage disenfranchised voters to re-register through Reclaim Our Vote. The website requests a referral. Feel free to enter “Peggy Propp”

  • Encourage your Senators to pass The Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act (NDEBA) to ensure federal elections can take place safely this fall and beyond even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and other national emergencies.

  • Volunteer virtually with the Smithsonian.

  • Volunteer virtually with the United Nations.

  • Put your translation skills to use with Translators without Borders.

  • Help teachers in the Ravenswood City School District connect with families. The district is looking for Spanish/English bilingual adults to help facilitate conference calls.

  • Tutor elementary and middle school students remotely with Step Up Tutors.

  • Explore ways to support youth education through volunteering, learning more about youth development, donating, or sharing resources.

  • Create marketing or social media content for nonprofits. Reach out to organizations that work on issues you care about to find out if you can help them fill this need.

  • Use your website-building skills or other specialized skills to help Supporting Resilient Communities, Inc. organize disaster relief efforts worldwide. Indicate your interest.

  • Sew hospital face masks as part of Rosie the Seamstress, a national effort to bring sewists, callers, distributors and hospital facilities together to provide much needed masks. The CDC has mask-making instructions and Community Health has posted an easy-to-follow video for sewing masks.
  • Donate to a local shelter – crochet or knit a blanket; or sort through old clothes, books, and more to find items to donate and organize your living space at the same time.

  • Create a plan to further a service pathway or issue.

  • Post about causes you care about on social media. The most effective posts will contain a clear call to action that your friends and family can follow while social distancing.

  • Share your service story on the Cardinal Service Stories blog or nominate a friend to share their story.

  • Create a video, write poetry, record a podcast, or write an essay about an issue you care about to share with others.

Support essential efforts in your local community

Please note: The following opportunities require you to leave your residence to support essential services. If you are an at-risk individual, live with at-risk individuals, or show symptoms of illness, do not take part in these activities. Everyone, regardless of risk level, must check public health orders and any applicable university directives to ensure compliance before engaging in these opportunities, and should take the utmost precaution to follow social distancing guidelines during the opportunity. As circumstances are rapidly changing, you should check on an organization’s website as to their current service needs and how they may change in the current climate.

  • Donate blood. Blood banks are “essential services” under many shelter-in-place orders, and are in great need of donations during this time. Find opportunities through the Red Cross and other local organizations.

  • Volunteer at a local food bank or Meals on Wheels. Food banks are “essential services” under many shelter-in-place orders, and are in great need of volunteers during this time. Be sure to register in advance on the organization’s website to help out.

  • Pick up groceries and other necessities for people in need. Complete the Shopping Angels form to volunteer or coordinate a city.

  • Create hygiene kits and drop off at a shelter for people experiencing homelessness to help them stay healthy.

  • Donate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eyewear, gloves, masks, and medical gowns to your local hospital. Look up your closest hospital to learn about its specific needs and drop-off instructions.

  • Make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The PPE Playbook is an authoritative resource for DIYers who want to help to protect health care workers.

Bay Area-specific local opportunities

  • Find ideas for serving on the Californians for All website, and share your service on social media using #CaliforniansForAll.

  • Help Stanford Pediatric Advocacy Program update flyers with information on Bay Area resources (e.g. food, housing, immigration, legal aid). To help, fill out this interest form.

  • Join Santa Clara County Helping Hands which matches individuals at high risk for COVID-19 to low-risk local volunteers who can help deliver groceries and prescriptions and have virtual check-ins.

  • Volunteer to help distribute diapers to local families with Baby Basics of the Peninsula.

  • Sign up to pack or distribute meals with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley,  Peninsula Volunteers, or your local Meals on Wheels chapter.

  • If you are not medically at risk or living with someone who is, help with food preparation and/or transport. Contact

  • Volunteer to sew, research, provide legal advice, write, and more with SEWING4GOOD, which is mobilizing volunteers to produce emergency isolation gowns to address California’s critical shortage.

Do you have other community public service suggestions to share? Contact Peggy Propp.


Haas Center and Cardinal Service: COVID-19 FAQs >>

Stanford Health Alerts >>