A resonating perspective right now is "Service takes many forms". Sometimes it looks like gathering together to serve. Sometimes it looks like doing the most good with the resources you have in isolation or from a distance. We hope Viterbo's core values continue to shine as we wrap up our unique year together. We hope we are able to answer the question "What is Ours to Do?" with a lens that positively impacts our spheres of influence. For those able, we hope these challenging times lead us to serve others in ways that resonate with our Franciscan roots, seeking out opportunities to serve from the heart.
This website will be used to house virtual, creative, and distance-based service project ideas. For advocacy resources, please click here. We encourage everyone to find ways to serve safely. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, opportunities to add to the website, or if you need help getting started!
Not sure what to do?
You're in luck! Below are some ideas we've developed, in conjunction with La Crosse agencies and service-learning instructors, to help you take that first step toward initiating your own service.
- Always take care of your personal health and safety first - Wash hands, mask up, and use hand sanitizer regularly.
- Follow updated CDC Guidelines. CLICK HERE for La Crosse-specific resources and updates on COVID-19.
- If you are showing any signs of illness, do not serve.
Step 1 - Find something you are passionate about: This is an opportunity to connect with a chosen community cause, not necessarily a specific "task" that you might think of when supporting an agency or issue. Some agencies may be in a better position to accept/develop virtual service, while some might be focusing more on the people/causes they serve on the front lines. Bottom line: Nothing will happen if we don't reach out and initiate!
Step 2 - "Like" Life at VU on Facebook for service updates and opportunities over the course of the school year.
Step 3 - Capture your impact: Utilize UGetConnected to enter hours for any service experiences or projects to track them on your service profile!
If you are still in La Crosse county or the 7 surrounding counties, please continue searching for opportunities on our UGetConnected software. Many agencies are still hosting volunteers, but have adjusted their positions to meet new safety standards. Others are posting in-kind or distance-based projects as they develop. There are 170+ agencies listed in the software with direct contact information to coordinate any specific projects directly with them.
Several La Crosse facilities are collecting letters of positivity, love, and support. They are distributing letters to their isolated residents and essential staff. Please visit UGetConnected to sign in and click the "COVID-19 Volunteer Opportunities" tab to find La Crosse facilities collecting letters.
The document above includes supplies and directions for knitting 5" x 5" squares to contribute to Viterbo's Knit-a-Thon efforts. We combine the 5" x 5" squares to form blankets which are donated to people right here in La Crosse.
Below are some ideas to get you started, but all will require proactivity on your end. Think of this as a hands-on service project management opportunity answering the question "How did you respond during the COVID-19 crisis?". A chance to put some good into the world when it desperately needs it. While all of these may not apply to every agency, this should be a good base to get your creative juices flowing!
- Local Online/In-Person Tutoring: Support local children at home with many school districts closed. Connect with your local district to assess the greatest needs and develop online resources or tutoring support could use at home.
- Record yourself reading books, doing simple science experiments, or solving math problems.
- Record a presentation about your favorite historical figure or event.
- Advocacy Projects: Research agency, create and implement an advocacy plan for agency of choice based on needs.
- Examples: Local social media awareness plan to increase traffic for agency services,
- Reporting data and impact to local/state legislators advocating for more resources,
- Share the impact of an agency so prospective clients/guests may learn and benefit from services - virtual and paper copies.
- Letter/Electronic Socializing: Aimed at nursing home residents on lock-down, but could also extend to other populations/modes of communication (pen pals with students not in school, isolated prison populations, etc). Happening now through UGetConnected.
- General administrative support for agency-specific projects/tasks: Connect directly with agencies and ask where their greatest needs are for electronic support.
- Could help by responding to simple emails,
- Developing forms/materials for guests,
- Tracking attendance/data from previous services,
- Coordinate a meal-train for impacted guests/employees,
- Create an employee recognition survey tool to improve team morale/support
- On-going fundraising campaign support: Many agencies have had to cancel their large yearly fundraisers, thus any type of fundraising support will likely be welcomed and could be supported from a distance.
- Example: Coordinated social media blasts across multiple platforms, coordinating cold-calling phone banks or prospect engagement, mailing support, etc
- Assessment/evaluations of agency-specific programs/services: Many agencies are looking to better incorporate data/assessment into their programs. This could be an opportunity to help with that from a distance.
- Examples: Create a survey and recommendations based on results:
- 1)Assess the dietary habits of clients/guests,
- 2) Gather the morale of employees working with the agency,
- 3) Learn volunteer/donor satisfaction from a recent event.
- Examples: Create a survey and recommendations based on results:
- Marketing/Event Promotion: Pending precautions, many agencies will be rescheduling canceled/postponed events. Individual agencies may need different support in creating, developing, or implementing marketing efforts.
- Creating in-kind donations -
- Examples: sewing facemasks for PPE donations, decorating/letters for isolated individuals, blankets for local neighbors in need, etc.
We will house alternative electronic service options here. If you'd like anything included in this section, email the information to email@example.com.
Conversations to Remember: Connecting students to isolated elderly
DIGIVOL: Help digitize collections from museums, archives, researchers and institutions through this Australian-based software from your living room!
Library of Congress: Transcribe and review written documents to ease access and preservation of history.