Impact of COVID-19 on our programs and services

Since 1972 Greater Cleveland Volunteers has partnered with the nonprofit community in Cuyahoga County to recruit, train and refer individuals to offer their time and talents to help address needs in our community.

We provide volunteers to help nonprofits deliver programs and services or to assist with special projects or events. In addition, we provide volunteer management assistance to these organizations. Our volunteers help at hunger centers, meals delivery programs, schools, libraries, hospitals, older adult living facilities, homeless shelters, job training programs, community centers, museums and other cultural institutions.

In addition to finding volunteers for other nonprofit organizations, Greater Cleveland Volunteers manages the Cleveland affiliate of the national AARP Foundation Experience Corps literacy tutoring program for students in the Cleveland and Euclid schools; the Cuyahoga County chapter of the national RSVP program for older adult volunteers; and communications activities for the Encore Cleveland initiative.

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a quick halt to almost all of our volunteer activities. Most nonprofit agencies suspended their programs or relied upon their staff to carry out what our volunteers were doing.

Our agency saw the unfortunate cancellation of our annual volunteer celebration event. This celebration brings together 300+ volunteers, friends, and nonprofit leaders to enjoy fellowship and recognize outstanding volunteers for their efforts.

Due to the closure of schools, our AARP Foundation Experience Corps literacy tutoring program was abruptly stopped. We are working to explore virtual tutoring for students because we know that many of them will be behind due to schools being closed and several of the schools we serve not having the ability to do on-line teaching.

During the stay at home order, we are keeping in touch with our nonprofit partners and our volunteers and providing volunteers for urgent needs as requested by our partners. We anticipate that volunteerism will be different for a while- and maybe forever- with many more virtual opportunities, fewer group opportunities and new community needs to address. We look forward to engaging people to help address these needs.

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