The Center for Campus and Community Engagement is here to support community-university partnerships and foster resilient communities. As our communities respond to the threat of COVID-19, community engagement needs to look a little different. Below you will find resources to adapt curricular engagement and virtual opportunities for meaningful service as well as suggestions on other ways you can support our communities and sources for emergency assistance for our community partners.
*Updated information on the Community Work Study Program can be found on our website here: Community Work Study
Do you have an active partnership with a community organization? Talk to them about their needs and capacity to continue your work. Current circumstances have put additional pressure on many organizations, and they may have emergency needs that now must be met. If you are able, be flexible with your partnership and adapt your work in order to accomplish priority goals.
- Tools and resources for educators: Campus Compact: Coronavirus & the Engaged Campus and Resources for Local-Global Learning: An ever-growing collection of resources for campuses, including ideas for virtual engagement and volunteering, teaching resources, civic engagement information, etc.
- Service Learning in the Online Landscape from Shelly Billig
- Service Learning During CoronaVirus: Ideas for Every Subject from Bowling Green State University
- Small Yet Significant Kindness in the Time of COVID-19
- Community Based Learning in times of Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine from Portland State, with resources for eService-Learning
- Follow Service Learning Educational Consultants and have students participate in their Service Learning Challenge #servelearnchallenge prompts
- Training, Professional Development, and Learning: These resources for faculty, staff, or students represent good alternatives for community-based education in lieu of in-person experiences during this time.
- Community-Engaged Research Online CITI Training Module
- Campus Compact Webinar Library
- Community Service and Service-Learning Professionals Facebook Group
- The OHIO Museum Complex goes Virtual: The new virtual portal for the OHIO Museum Complex offers a multitude of learning opportunities, including links to field trips with Rural Action, and mAppAthens tours of the Dairy Barn, Southeast Ohio History Center, and Athens County Libraries.
Virtual service opportunities
Do you need to adapt a community-based service experience? Talk with your community partner about their needs, and capacity to continue working with you. If your partner can still manage volunteers, here are some tasks that many organizations need help with that can be accomplished remotely:
- Conducting background research or gathering best practice research or other information requested by partners
- Organizing and/or analyzing data
- Taping, recording, or streaming performances or workshops to benefit community partner(s)
- Creating digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information-sharing and advocacy
- Grant writing
- Undertaking assessment, evaluation, or feedback via phone or web-based services
- Offering (or compiling, researching, or brainstorming) strategies that provide indirect support from volunteers as a result of coronavirus
- Conducting virtual or phone-based educational or social supports for youth and adults
Looking for other ways to be involved in community while practicing social distancing? Here are some ideas to explore!
- Local services opportunities complying with social-distancing guidance will be posted on GivePulse.
- United Nations Volunteers program is dedicated to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteers work to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world.
- Amnesty International has a team of Amnesty DeCoders who volunteer to research and uncover human rights violations.
- The Free Minds Book Club works with youth incarcerated as adults who are participating in book and writing clubs. They seek volunteers to provide feedback on their poetry. Watch these videos to learn more about how to comment (this one is about hosting your own event, but it gives you an idea of what kinds of feedback to provide and how to be a virtual volunteer).
- Be My Eyes is an organization assisting people who are blind or visually impaired. Volunteers help read for them. Note that calls can be infrequent.
- LibriVox, a free public domain for audiobooks seeks volunteers to record audio books created prior to 1923.
- 7 Cups connects people to caring, compassionate listeners. Build active listening skills and become a volunteer listener.
- Zooniverse is always looking for volunteers for research projects in the arts, biological sciences, climate, history, physics, and more.
- Missing Maps offers virtual volunteering to map communities that may be impacted by disasters so that humanitarian workers can best serve them. They offer excellent training videos to help you get started.
- Firefly Watch Citizen Science Project at the Audubon Society needs help to learn about the geographic distribution of fireflies and what environmental factors impact their abundance.
- Catchafire matches skilled professional volunteers with nonprofits to help them increase their capacity and achieve their missions.
- Translators Without Borders offers virtual volunteers the chance to help translate documents, if you have another language skill.
- Project Gutenberg is always looking for people with proofreading and editing skills for books being transferred to online formats.
- Crisis Text Line is the perfect way for students wanting to hone their social service skills by providing mental wellbeing support to those in need. Training is provided. Note, this organization expects an ongoing commitment.
- The Smithsonian Museum gives you a chance to develop your historian skill set by transcribing historical documents such as field notes, biodiversity specimens labels, and more.
- National Park Service is seeking volunteers to test their web applications.
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster are responding to disasters across the country and can connect you with local opportunities.
- The Mapping Prejudice Project is showing what communities of color have known for decades. Structural barriers stopped many people who were not white from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century. See how you can volunteer and contribute to racial justice.
There are many ways you can make a difference in the fight against COVID-19. We recommend that before acting, individuals research what’s already happening in your local community—many individuals and organizations are moving quickly to address the countless needs that are emerging and would be best served by collaboration, rather than duplication!
Introducing: The Bobcat Neighborhood!
Together with the Ohio University Alumni Association and Ohio University Corporate Engagement, we're working to build the Bobcat Neighborhood: A directory connecting alumni, alumni-owned businesses, and local businesses and nonprofits in our campus communities in a network of mutual support.
Donate to help those near and far
- Local Emergency Funds: Many local organizations have created new pools of funding to respond to local need. You can support our campus communities by contributing to the following:
- Foundation for Appalachian Ohio Emergency Response Fund
- Athens: Athens County Foundation Emergency Fund
- Beavercreek: COVID-19 Response Fund for Greater Dayton
- Cleveland: Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
- Chillicothe: Chillicothe Ross Community Foundation Emergency Fund
- Dublin: Dublin Foundation Dublin Has Heart Fund
- Eastern: United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund
- Lancaster: United Way Fairfield Cares Fund
- Southern: United Way River Cities Covid-19 Relief and Response Fund
- Zanesville: Muskingum County Community Cares Fund
- World Health Organization International COVID-19 Fund: The World Health Organization is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. The greatest need right now is to help ensure all countries are prepared, especially those with the weakest health systems. Donations support WHO’s work to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. https://www.covid19responsefund.org/
- Ohio University Division of Student Affairs Support Fund: If you’d like to support Ohio University students who may be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, including unexpected costs related to travel, housing, loss of employment, or other impacts, click here to make a gift to the Division of Student Affairs Support Fund(opens in a new window). This fund directly supports OHIO’s Division of Student Affairs’ efforts to respond to immediate student needs. https://www.ohio.edu/advancement/invest/gift
Support local businesses
A recent Athens Area Chamber of Commerce survey shows how critical it is for us to support local businesses, wherever they are! Consider ordering take out, investing in gift cards, or buying that t-shirt you've had your eye on!
We are so grateful for our local business community's efforts to get everyone through this together! Check out what some community members are up to below, and reach out to us via email or social media with good stories we're missing!
- Avalanche Pizza is using their Online Order menu to allow people to donate lunches for $4.
- Brenen's Coffee Cafe is enabling folks to call and donate a boxed lunch.
- Court Street Coffee is taking donations to provide free coffee to healthcare workers.
- The Farmacy is collecting donations on a Giving Tree.
- Jackie O's is donating a portion of Ricky sales to the Ohio Restaurant Association Employee Relief Fund and teaming up with Hocking College to produce hand-sanitizer.
- Ohio Is Home is offering a free local coffee or a contribution to the Meigs County Relief Fund with T-Shirt purchases.
- Pork & Pickles's online shop allows customers to purchase local products from a variety of vendors or donate directly to Community Food Initiatives.
- Tavolino is continuing their Soup on Hold initiative and is also offering to order select grocery items for individuals.
- West End Distillery is now producing hand sanitizer that can be ordered alongside their other wares via their online store.
Support efforts to help those in the greatest need
- Ohio Association of Food Banks: The Ohio Association of Foodbanks represents Ohio's 12 Feeding America foodbanks, who serve all 88 counties in Ohio. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, our network served an average of 25,000 people every day. In the days and weeks to come, we will serve many more thousands of people, and we will need to do so through different means of distribution. This presents unique challenges and needs for our network, and we urge your support, if you are able to offer it. View opportunities to give help.
- Ohio United Way: Ohio United Way is the voluntary state association of United Ways across Ohio. Representing local United Ways around the state, the association works to promote the public policy interest of our members, provides them with educational opportunities and leads statewide initiatives designed to improve Ohio communities. Find your local chapter here: http://ouw.org/
- Support Ohio’s Domestic Violence Shelters: For some, social distancing and staying home may put them at risk if there is violence in the home. Consider donating to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network or by supporting your local shelter. For example, those in Fairfield County by the Lancaster Campus, you can donate to the Lighthouse, or in Athens, Vinton, and Hocking County, you can donate to My Sister’s Place.
- Support the Arts: Keep in mind that your community nonprofit arts and entertainment venues are significantly impacted by this pandemic because they’ve had to cancel or postpone all events. For example, those in Muskingum County by the Zanesville Campus, consider donating to the Zanesville Museum of Art, or if you’re in Athens area consider donating to The Dairy Barn Arts Center, Stuart’s Opera House, Passion Works, and other local and regional organizations.
- Donate Blood: The Red Cross has stated “Right now, American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations during this coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood, platelets or AB Elite plasma.
Be an active citizen
- Register for Absentee Voting in Ohio: Don’t let a pandemic prevent you for being civically engaged! You can complete a simple form and then vote by mail well before June.
- Participate in the 2020 Census: The Census data informs decision making at the federal, state and local level on things that impact everyday people across the country—such as fair representation and funding allocations to support public libraries, schools, hospitals, benefit programs, affordable housing, transportation. Learn about the 2020 Census.
The CCCE is monitoring resources available to community organizations and small businesses, and will update this list accordingly. If you are aware of resources that can assist community members, please email the CCCE at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Assistance & Resources
- CARES Act Emergency Assistance: The National Council of Nonprofits recently hosted a webinar explaining opportunities for nonprofits via the CARES Act, outlined in the PDF linked above.
- US Small Business Administration: The SBA offers several forms of assistance and resources to small businesses throughout the United States.
Local Assistance & Resources
- Athens Response Fund & Perry Response Fund: Hosted by Rural Action, the COVID-19 Response Fund provides flexible resources to organizations in our region working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of this outbreak, as well as attempt to alleviate impacts for specific businesses, farms and others on a case-by-case basis.
- Mask Makers of Athens Ohio: The Ohio University CoLab is partnering with Passion Works to coordinate local mask making and connect folks with resources to join the effort.
- COVID-19 County Resource Guides: Inspired by the work of the COMCorps member at the Athens City-County Health Department, the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine's Community Health Worker Program has developed this website with resource guides for Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, & Washington Counties
- Voinovich COVID-19 Business Recovery Resource Center: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) , Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and TechGROWTH Ohio, all part of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, are working with small and local, private and non-profit business owners to use the following resources available from the state and federal government to help keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.