Volunteering requests rise as COVID worsens

At key moments in the COVID-19 pandemic, 211s saw a rise in volunteering and donations. Although most 211 calls are from those seeking help with social needs such as rent, food and utility payments, people also call to offer help – volunteering and making donations. We examined 79,767 of these requests received by 211s in 29 states during 2019 and 2020. In the calendar charts below, blue-shaded dates received fewer inquiries about volunteering and donations, while orange- and red-shaded dates received more inquiries. The darker the shading, the fewer (blue) or more (red) requests received. The charts show that in the early stages of the pandemic (March and April 2020) and when it worsened (Fall to Winter 2020), volunteering and donation inquiries increased. While 2019 had a few such increases, these were tied to local natural disaster events: a deadly tornado in Missouri in May 2019, and flash-flooding in South Dakota in September 2019. Data for these analyses came from 211 Counts, a daily tracking system of community needs used in 38 states. States included in this analysis are: AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, HI, IA, IL, KS, KY, MA, MD, ME, MN, MO, NC, NE, NJ, NV, NY, OH, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, WI and WY.

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