Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans are out of work due to the business shutdown mandated to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. That’s on top of the huge number of families who were already at risk of hunger and homelessness before the pandemic.
People are lining up in droves at food banks and community meal sites, and checking their mail daily for some sign of financial assistance. For the organizations offering these services, the need for help was never greater. Those looking to donate or volunteer can start with the opportunities below.
Hearts Alive Village
With a skeleton crew running its shelter in order to minimize human interaction, the nonprofit animal rescue that supports struggling, low-income pet owners is in greater need of foster homes than usual. To sign up for fostering or make a donation, click here or call 702-595-0644.
HomeAid of Southern Nevada
The Southern Nevada Home Builders Association operates a community outreach program called HomeAid of Southern Nevada. It works with local nonprofits such as Help of Southern Nevada, Living Grace Home, the Shade Tree, and U.S. Vets. Through May 31, HomeAid is conducting its annual "Essentials Drive" online. Interested donors visit HomeAid's Facebook page, where they can choose what they'd like to have donated through Amazon, which will deliver the supplies to the chosen organization.
Mask a Hero
The Clark County Medical Society has a program to get medical supplies to the professionals who need them. You can donate personal protective gear, hand sanitizer, or a variety of other items, or give money for their purchase. The sign-up form is on the organization’s home page.
Meals on Wheels
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that donations are down and demand is up for the meal delivery service to homebound seniors. Catholic Charities operates the program, which is funded through public and private grants. To donate or volunteer, click here, e-mail email@example.com, or call 702-405-0597.
Nevada Homeless Alliance
The Nevada Homeless Alliance teams up with government agencies and nonprofits to coordinate services for people experiencing homelessness. The group’s pop-up and Connect events are on hold in line with social distancing and stay-at-home mandates, but it’s still in need of supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, latex gloves, water, no-touch thermometers, wipes, cleaning supplies, food, and baby diapers. To donate, call 702-743-1487 or drop off items Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 4323 Boulder Highway in Las Vegas.
The public has been great about responding to the call for blood donations, according to a Red Cross spokeswoman, who encouraged people to continue making appointments for future blood drives. In addition, the organization also needs volunteers to work at events, checking people’s temperature, distributing hand sanitizer, and providing other important services. It’s also looking for volunteer transportation specialists to get blood products to local hospitals. To donate or volunteer, visit the website or call 702-791-3311.
Southern Nevada’s biggest food bank has seen two to three times as much demand as it expected due to the pandemic, according to national news reports. To donate, click here or call 702-644-3663. A list of individual food pantries to donate to can be found here.
Trauma Intervention Program
The Trauma Intervention Program (TIP) of Southern Nevada sends volunteers to the site of a crisis when requested by law enforcement, health providers, and other agencies. Since the beginning of the nonessential business shutdown, volunteers offer support by phone rather than in person. Information about becoming a TIP volunteer is here; donations can be made here.
Vegas Cat Rescue
When Vegas Cat Rescue founder Joe Hamrock saw most spay-neuter programs for community cats shutting down due to the pandemic, he was concerned. "Kitten season is coming," Hambrick says. "If we wait months to spay all these stray cats, there will be kittens all over the city." He created a fundraiser on the group's Facebook page and located three veterinary clinics that will still accept community cats for spay/neuter and other needed veterinary services. Hamrock and his volunteers trap the cats, transport them to the clinics for needed medical attention, and return them to the community. Anyone with a stray cat-related need (including adoptions and fostering) can contact the group at 702-762-8476.
Vegas Community Pantry
Leaders of political advocacy group Battle Born Progress used their 501(c)3 arm, the Institute for a Progressive Nevada, to start a community pantry on March 12. Within days, requests for food were pouring in. The group is now delivering to around 100 families per week. Information on donating and volunteering is on the group's Facebook group, which is private to avoid business promotions and political discussions. Click here torequest to join.
More opportunities for service and donations can be found in the Las Vegas Review-Journal's "How You Can Help" article.
To add opportunities to help to this list, please comment below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You won’t find a paywall here. Come as often as you like — we’re not counting. You’ve found a like-minded tribe that cherishes what a free press stands for. If you can spend another couple of minutes making a pledge of as little as $5, you’ll feel like a superhero defending democracy for less than the cost of a month of Netflix.