During these unprecedented days of Social Distancing, our need for social connection is great. As individuals and families, we look for opportunities to maintain a connection to our community - but amidst all of the challenges that we feel, our hearts and thoughts are with our neighbors who are struggling right now just to get enough food on the table, or enough diapers or detergent for their families, or even just enough soap to keep hands clean. So what can we do? How can we help?
Building Impact is launching a brand new Virtual Volunteering platform that we are calling “Stay In, Reach Out.” Our goal is to make volunteering simpler, easier, and most importantly, more effective in support of the challenging work of our community partners on the front lines. Building Impact’s mission is to strengthen our community through volunteering, and now along with our partners, we have transformed our work to make it possible to volunteer virtually - to connect in new, impactful ways to support our community.
Already, thanks to the generous help of our volunteers we have delivered four thousand hand sanitizers provided by Tufts Health Plan to organizations on the front lines of street outreach at the St. Francis House and Eliot Human Services. With the generous support of partners like PNC Bank, we are delivering 8,000 bags to Boston Public Schools this week to support their meal distribution for kids across the city. But, our work does not stop there.
We are taking our model Virtual at 3 Levels:
- Share a Thought - an opportunity for volunteers & their families (kids included) to share a thought, drawing, photo or video in gratitude for the professionals who are on the front lines of this crisis - at healthcare settings and nonprofit organizations like shelters across our city. There is no cost to participating in this program - please create & share so that we can share these uplifting messages with care providers this week!
- Create a Kit - Virtual Volunteering Kits are offered to meet specific needs on our community. By Listening to Needs in the Community, co-designing projects to support our community partners, and Measuring the Outcomes - our Create-A-Kit program allows you to virtually assemble a kit and personal note to the receiving individual.
- Phone Tree Corporate Challenge - a final program in our Virtual Volunteering platform is a skills-based volunteering program. We are asking corporate teams to find 10 volunteers who are ready to commit to 4 total hours of volunteering by calling a senior and spending time with them on the phone to determine needs they may have for meals or medication, but also to assist in combating social isolation they may be experiencing.
Whether it is by leaving a note of thanks or encouragement to those healthcare professionals on the front lines, or by building a kit for outreach to those experiencing homelessness in our virtually volunteering kits; or by volunteering to join our Call Tree Corporate Challenge - there are several ways you can join us in reaching out to the community at this time.
In this new world of virtual volunteering, a few things stay the same:
As always, we recognize the importance of our work in acting LOCALLY - every organization we support is serving urgent needs in our community. We also know the importance of harnessing the power of TEAMS in our work. The collective impact we have as a group, and the teamwork we build will amplify the impact and awareness of the organizations we support. And finally, our MEASUREMENTS - we are focused not just on inputs - the number of hours, calls, cards - but on outcomes in how this contribution will make a difference.
We commit to sharing the outcomes of your volunteering with you - in our Impact Reports, in our photos and in the notes from our community partners at the time we make our deliveries.
If you are already in our Network, we invite you to host a project now with your virtual team. If you are new to our network, we ask you for financial support for the supplies to get things kicked off. Please know that every one dollar of our earned revenue has nearly a 4x return through the impact of our efforts in the community. We are asking you to join us in our efforts to strengthen our community through Virtual Volunteering.
We believe that while each of these contributions may seem like a small act, the small acts of volunteering, when multiplied by the hundreds of people in our network, can transform our city.
I am taken aback by the extraordinary generosity I see at moments like this. Whether it is in the kindness of words shared with those on the front lines, or the generosity of giving blood or making kits for those in need, our Building Impact Network amazes me with their generosity. You don’t have to have much time or money to participate - as one volunteer once said - “I learned to give, not because I had much, but because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing.
#StayInReachOut = by hearing the needs of our neighbors
#StayInReachOut = by virtually volunteering to help one another
#StayInReachOut = and by inspiring others on your team to volunteer
Thank you so much for all you do to help us pilot this program!
We are grateful for your partnership in strengthening our community at a time of great need.
It is time to “Stay In, Reach Out” with Building Impact!
Bridget and the Building Impact Team