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Volunteering During A Pandemic

Neighborhood cleanups, school events, meal serving. These are all acts of volunteerism that many of us have done, and to some people, volunteering has become a big part of their lives. We volunteer to give back, gain experience, and probably the most fun, to meet new people. But how do we continue our acts of service during a global pandemic, when human contact is hazardous? How do we change the world while being restricted to our own homes?

My team of VEP committee leaders and I took on this challenge when planning September’s volunteer event for Passion Impact. Not only was planning a remote volunteer experience already an obstacle, but we also had to advertise it to be fun and get students involved solely online and through social media. To tackle this, we first had to think of ways to help from our homes, or at least in a manner that does not require human contact. Luckily, there are already programs and volunteer events that do not require you to be with other people. Some examples of these include: being pen pals with prisoners, making dog toys with t-shirts to donate, or wrapping holiday gifts for children in need. We loved the idea of penpals because volunteers would be able to do everything completely in the safety of their homes, so we decided on writing letters to the elderly in nursing homes to cheer them up from social isolation and connect with the youth. 

We then went online and reached out to an elderly care home in the Portland area who said they would love to be pen pals with us. This brings me to this; the internet is a great place for connection, especially during a time where social gatherings are not safe. Through communication channels, emails, and research, our team was able to plan everything and as we move forward we will hold our volunteer event completely through a screen. 

From a glass half full perspective, social distancing is simply a test to our creativity and adaptability. If researching and contacting people yourself is not something you are comfortable with, there are many volunteer groups and organizations out there adjusting to COVID-19 to continue volunteer work! Some of these groups include HandsOn Portland, Volunteers of America Oregon, and of course, high school clubs for students such as Passion Impact! If you are interested in joining us in writing cards to the elderly, keep an eye out for registration on GivePulse!

Written by:
Jennifer Truong
Development Committee Student Leader in VEP
Read more about Jennifer:




Stefan Peierls, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Passion Impact
5106 SE Powell Blvd.
Portland OR 97206
Local Phone: (503) 912-4241
[email protected]

MARCH 20, 2020 – Portland, OR – Passion Impact is excited to announce that on March 31st, they will be hosting tele-programming every weekday. Programs range from service, to career awareness, to discussions, to hangouts in order to provide students an opt-in atmosphere where they can engage with their peers while exploring career development. 

The following tele-programs require Zoom signups of students under 18, but not registration:

Informational Interviews – Students can learn about new educational and career pathways by attending and asking questions in Informational Interviews on Mondays and Wednesday from 4-5 PM.

Parent Support – For those parents or guardians who can’t read english, students can join Parental Support to help translate information in Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, Cantonese want to help make their parents aware of the programs every Monday from 1-2:30 PM.

Blogs and Vlogs – Students interested in writing and speaking about topics that mesh with Passion Impact’s mission can sign up to write, record, and publish under Passion Impact. 

Workouts with Kayla and Christina – Stay fit and let go of leading yourself through a workout. Kayla and Christina are athletes with a slew of motivational direction to keep you breathing hard between 12 -1 PM every Wednesday.

Games with Mery and Alan – Have fun meeting new friends and playing games while hanging out during your lunch time.  

The following tele-programs are for students under 18 and require GivePulse Volunteer Registration with confirmation of a parent/guardian over the age of 18:

Article Discussions – Students join Adrianna Davis, the High School Program Coordinator, to discuss articles that relate to current events, social justice, volunteerism & more every Tuesday from 12-1 PM.

The Connectors Communication Team – Led by Carly Chan, a PCC work-study student, The Connectors’ primary goal is to promote and communicate with students and prospective volunteers through the coordination of a communication plan. Students can apply to join the team that meet Thursdays from 3-4:30 PM.

“Being involved with PI makes the COVID-19 situation less lonely. I enjoy joining virtual meetings and talking with other students on ways we can provide events and online opportunities to student volunteers and other people in the community.”

Danni Iv, Passion Impact Leader, Franklin High School Senior

To learn more and to sign up for Passion Impact tele-programs, visit


Passion Impact engages youth in a lifelong exploration of career development through volunteerism and education! Passion Impact believes in a world where students claim community engagement as a tool of connectivity, curiosity, growth, and joy. Passion Impact is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Portland, OR, working closely with Franklin High School, Portland Community College, and the students that attend both.

For information: or
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (503) 912-4241