supporting communities in need

Below you can find ways to offer support to communities in need as recommended by our Office of Community Engagement and Experiential Learning. The safety and health of our GDS community members is of the utmost importance so we recommend you choose volunteer opportunities that do not put you in harm's way. Several options noted below are remote.

It is crucial to remember that if you do choose to volunteer in any capacity that takes you away from home, you must adhere to strict six-foot distancing and RIGOROUS HYGIENE PROTOCOLS. Please bring and generously use hand sanitizer, or gloves if you have them. Wash your hands regularly. Do not touch your face. Do not volunteer if you're feeling ill or believe you could have been in contact with any infectious disease, including but not limited to COVID-19. If you are picking up/delivering groceries or supplies, wipe down the bag with some sort of disinfectant like lysol or clorox. We want to make sure our efforts to assist our communities don't put you or anyone else—especially at-risk individuals—in danger.


  1. Bring joy to the GDS community (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)
    • Students can make short videos, games, songs, comedy, etc. to infuse fun and joy into our virtual community during this difficult time. Submissions must be sent to Leigh and/or Jeremy for approval, who will then share with the GDS communications team.


Assist Print to Protect with mask-printing and distribution (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)
Requires appropriate materials and printing technology.
Reach out to Emily Scarrow through Leigh with interest.

Other #HealthcareHeroes opportunities:

Provide meals to ICU staff at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Give blood. Save lives.



  1. Students who are bilingual or multilingual can serve as virtual translators for displaced people from around the world via Tarjimly (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

  2. Students fluent in at least one other language (aside from English) can volunteer as a Translator Without Borders (HS service credits: hours to match time spent). Opportunities to translate medical text, crisis response language, and more

  3. Serve as a sighted volunteer for the blind and vision-impaired using the Be My Eyes app (HS service credits: hours to match time spent). Must be at least 17 years old.

  4. Donate food items to Capital Area Food Bank for distribution to food insecure DMV residents (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)
    • The Food Bank is accepting non-perishable, shelf-stable foods only at this time

    • Food donations can be dropped off Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM at the CAFB warehouse in Washington, DC (4900 Puerto Rico Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20017). For those in Virginia, the CAFB warehouse in Lorton, VA (6833 Hill Park Drive, Lorton, VA 22079) is accepting donations Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

    • A no-touch donation box will be provided in the Agency Box parking lot for those who are more comfortable with that option

  5. GetFoodUSA: GetFoodUSA is a searchable directory of locations offering free food assistance to the public. Created in response to the food insecurity crisis escalated by COVID-19, GetFoodUSA relies on local partners and volunteers like yourself to maintain an up-to-date resource for advocacy organizations and individuals in need. (Hours to match time spent)

  6. Jobs to Help*: Founded by current GDS students, Jobs to Help encourages volunteers to fulfill odd jobs for neighbors in need. Services are "paid for" through donations to charitable organizations supporting Black Lives Matter organizations and Covid relief efforts. (Hours to match time spent)

    *Note: Some of this work may be in-person. Students should consult with a parent or guardian before taking on any direct volunteer work during the Covid era outside of their own homes.

Other #AtRisk opportunities:


Give food or

Donate food through an app or give online.


Partner with #DCMutualAid to serve the least-resourced people in Ward 6

Support vulnerable DC street vendors.
Donate or volunteer (bilingual needed)





Serve group homes
for disabled adults


#CitizenScience & #Research

  1. Interview a family member or contact with a story to tell, and archive your conversation through StoryCorps (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

  2. Become a digital volunteer for the Smithsonian (hours to match time spent)

  3. Assist professional researchers with data collection, beta testing and other projects through Zooniverse (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

  4. Proofread new e-books for online publication through Distributed Proofreaders (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

  5. Make an audio-recording of a book in the public domain (meaning published before 1923) with Librivox (HS service credits: hours to match time spent). Librivox distributes book recordings in all languages, so this could be a good way to practice any world language you are studying at school!

  6. Contribute to BASA Bali online cultural Wiki (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

    • Students have multiple opportunities to support the BASA Bali network, including contributing additions (in English) from print and online sources to the Wiktionary, and by writing summaries and stories geared toward users from around the world

    • Email Leigh with interest



  1. Support the Humane Rescue Alliance through monetary and supply donations


  1. Provide virtual math tutoring to an at-risk student through UPchieve (1 hour/session)
    • In order to participate, high school tutors must pass a math certification quiz and provide a reference from a current math teacher
  2. Tutor a 4th-10th grade student through Teens Give (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)
    • Students must complete an application and submit a reference and photo ID

    • Tutor a student for an hour between 3-6pm on weekdays through Latino Student Fund (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)

  3. NEST Tutors: Apply to be paired with a younger student from around the country to provide them with virtual academic support through video calls. (1 hour/session)

  4. Intutorly: Volunteer your time to help curb learning losses due to Covid-19. High school tutors will connect with a younger student 1-to-1 through Zoom to provide academic support. (Hours to match time spent)

Other #ForChildren opportunities:

Babysit children of healthcare
professionals and others.

Offer childcare






  1. Make phone and video calls to seniors through A Call to Care (1 hour/call)
  2. Connect through Zoom with residents of Friendship Terrace (HS service credits: hours to match time spent)
  3. Write loving letters to grandfriends through Kids For Peace (1 hour/letter)

Other #SeniorCitizens opportunities:

Be assigned a senior citizen buddy for virtual companionship.

Deliver hot meals to senior citizens.
(subject line "Jumper Volunteer")




Contact Us

"Leigh" Tait

"Leigh" Tait

Program Associate for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning