Volunteers of America is a nonprofit organization founded in 1896 by Ballington and Maud Booth. They began their work caring for individuals experiencing poverty. They also set up the nation’s first system of halfway houses for released prisoners. With their network of more than 16,000 professional employees, they are able to offer hundreds of human service programs across 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. They focus on communities’ most vulnerable populations, providing services such as affordable housing, medical assistance, and family programs. The organization continues to be guided by its founders’ pledge, “go wherever we are needed, and do whatever comes to hand.”
Buying Supplies During a Pandemic
While Random Acts Regional Representative Samara Cogan was researching holiday act ideas, a fellow Random Acts volunteer recommended Volunteers of America. Eager to reach out to other areas in her region beyond Seattle, Samara contacted Remelisa, the Development Coordinator at Volunteers of America. Remelisa provided a list of necessary items, most urgent being cleaning and hygiene supplies.
The ongoing pandemic has put cleaning products in short supply. Samara had to make purchasing decisions quickly to find anything in stock. Many of the large box-stores are unable to ship certain products, so Samara turned to Amazon for delivery. She was able to procure a bevy of hygiene items including shampoo, body wash, deodorant, and menstrual supplies as well as quite a few cleaning products. “I felt extremely relieved that I managed to get anything at all,” Samara said, recounting her hectic buying experience. The effort was well worth it, though. Samara received a message from Remelisa once the donations were delivered, “Thank you so much! These are so immensely helpful and critical with everything going on.”
If you would like to learn more about Volunteers of America or make a donation, please visit their website. The Random Acts Regional Representatives would love to help you find similar opportunities in your community! As always, thank you for supporting our mission to spread kindness and compassion!