• Cory Sprinkel

Rallying Around Community

In times of social distancing it may seem contradictory to think about how to engage with your community. But right now it is more important than ever to be attuned to how our communities are coming together to support one another and keep each other safe. From folks packing meals at food pantries, to those donating blood, and even those connecting with others virtually, there are countless ways citizens are offering what they can to care for others during this challenging time.

As someone who works to support community engagement in higher education, I am filled with immense joy and hope as I look around to see the multitude of ways in which students, citizens, community leaders, and organizations are rapidly organizing and adapting to best support their communities. The transition to digital services and contact-less food deliveries and pick-ups are just a sampling of the amazing work that is being done across the state and country.

Living in Madison, many of the opportunities I have come across are limited to Dane County, however, it's easy to find opportunities in your own community as well! Here's an abbreviated list of some of the ways to get involved, and below I share some tips on how to find these connections in your own community.

  • UW Health compiled a list of ways to help, including donating to the UW Health COVID-19 Response Fund. Check it out here!

  • There is a massive demand for blood donations. Visit the Red Cross donation web page to learn more and schedule a donation

  • Dane County has a list of volunteering opportunities throughout the county. Check it out here!

  • United Way of Dane County has a huge need for volunteers in food pantries across the area. Details

  • There are a million other ways to help our Dane County community. Visit the Facebook Group Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighborsto learn more!

Outside of Dane County? Try finding opportunities by:

  • Calling 2-1-1. This number is designed to connect people to supports and services in their local community. Call to inquire about organizations that may need assistance.

  • Search for a local Facebook page. Many communities have developed neighborhood pages and groups on social media to post needs and get connected with services.

  • Contact your local food pantry. They are always accepting donations and can let you know about other ways you can offer support.

  • Consult your town or county website. Many Wisconsin communities are updating their websites more frequently to share information about community needs and services.

  • Donate money to community support funds

We all have a part to play in keeping our communities safe and cared for. However you're able to help, it is appreciated! Now, how are you going to #DoYourPart?

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