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COVID-19 and Restore Corps

A few thoughts from Volunteer Coordinator Loni

Sometimes, I look back and it seems as if I just woke up one day and a pandemic was here. I remember it being a distant fear, but I can hardly remember it becoming our daily reality. I could never have guessed all that was to come.  I guess no one could.

Like many businesses and organizations, Restore Corps has been strongly impacted by the pandemic. As the Volunteer Coordinator, my daily duties include working with the community heroes who strive daily to support survivors of human trafficking. I have witnessed first hand the change in both volunteer engagement and volunteer needs brought with COVID-19.

Our volunteer engagement has declined since COVID-19 began. Many of our volunteer opportunities require face to face interaction with our clients, and I have noticed that some of our volunteers who regularly served our clients in the past are not comfortable with jumping into it yet. This is completely understandable, as COVID-19 should be taken very seriously. I respect and support each volunteer as they respond to the pandemic and discover their comfort levels.

There is another side to the decrease in volunteer engagement. In this turbulent time, our volunteer needs have changed. The safety of our staff, clients, and community has never ceased to hold a top priority in my mind. Along with all of the Restore Corps staff, I am still learning and trying to figure out the best way to fill all of our needs without exposing survivors to unnecessary risk. We still need volunteers to drive survivors to appointments, to help maintain our safe house, and more. But all of these needs must take a different form in times like this, and we are still discovering how to best approach them.

For the time being, until we understand how to better fill these needs, I humbly ask that you consider donating to Restore Corps. You can also mail Target, Walmart, and Visa gift cards to P.O. Box 11748 Memphis, TN 38111. We are able to distribute these gift cards to survivors so they can purchase clothing and more as personal needs arise. The truth of this current moment is that all of our needs are changing daily as the world around us changes, but one thing that never does change is the impact your donation will have on survivors. With just $40, we can obtain weekly groceries for a survivor in our safe house. With $60, we are able to get a survivor an eye appointment for glasses that a survivor has always needed but never had. $100 covers the cost of an hour of trauma therapy for a survivor. What will your money do?

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