COVID-19 Resources for Volunteers

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To our volunteers - we are here for you

As we navigate these uncertain times together, our connections with you and the relationships you’ve built with your Littles and Friends are more important than ever. Our team is here to answer your calls, texts, emails and video chat requests. We encourage you to reach out so we can answer questions, provide resources or even just say hello during this time that so many of us are at home.
Visit our Facebook for virtual and in-person match meeting suggestions. New ideas for field trips, games, and crafts, posted each week!

Tools for Staying Connected

For Bigs and Littles

  • Please check in with your Little to make sure they are staying up to date with school work and remind them that they are not on vacation. Transitioning to online school work can be a big adjustment for your Little and their parent/guardian(s). Please check in to see what they have to work on this week and offer help or guidance wherever needed.

  • Schedule a virtual outing weekly using video services like FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom. We'll continue to provide virtual field trip ideas here, on social media and through your match support specialist on a weekly basis.

  • If your Little has limited access to a phone or computer, you can still keep in touch. Write a letter or card to your Little each week with encouraging messages and updates to let them know they're on your mind.

  • Talk with your Little over the phone on a weekly basis. Use our tips below for talking to kids about coronavirus as well as ways to continue engaging with them over the phone.

Have intentional communication

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it may trigger trauma for young people. They may have family members vulnerable to the virus or they may be overwhelmed by the constant influx of news and information surrounding the pandemic.

  • Help your Little understand why we are taking a pause on in-person meetings. Let them know you care and this is in the hope that we can reduce the number of people getting sick. Take this opportunity to educate them on the importance of staying indoors to protect themselves and others. ​

  • Your Little may need you as school is closed, parent/guardian(s) are working or laid off. Emotions can be high and they will need someone with which to express anger, fear or sadness.

  • Acknowledge what is going on and engage your Little in a dialogue about the pandemic using language that's easy to understand. Here is a helpful resource from the CDC: Talking to Kids About Covid-19.

Educational Resources for Littles

  • As a Big, you can encourage your Little in developing good self-regulated study habits.

    Click Here

  • Provide your Little with this resource for them to build a tailored practice plan. Make it a virtual match activity with online video study sessions.

    Click Here

Tools for Staying Connected

For Friend 2 Friend

  • Texting is an easy way to stay in communication with your Friend. Please check in with your Friend to make sure they doing okay during these tough times and their basic needs are met. Practicing social distancing can be a big adjustment for your Friend and their family. Please check in to see what they are doing to keep busy and offer help or guidance wherever needed.

  • Schedule a virtual outing weekly using video services like FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or Zoom. We'll continue to provide virtual field trip ideas here, on social media and through your match support specialist on a weekly basis.

  • If your Friend has limited access to a phone or computer, you can still keep in touch. Write a letter or card to your Friend each week with encouraging messages and updates to let them know they're on your mind.

  • Talk with your Friend over the phone twice a month. Use our tips below for talking to adults with disabilities about coronavirus as well as ways to continue engaging with them over the phone.

Have intentional communication

  • As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, it may trigger trauma for many people. They may have family members vulnerable to the virus or they may be overwhelmed by the constant influx of news and information surrounding the pandemic.

  • Help your Friend understand why we are taking a pause on in-person meetings. Let them know you care and this is in the hope that we can reduce the number of people getting sick. Take this opportunity to educate them on the importance of staying indoors to protect themselves and others. ​

  • Your Friend may need you as they are experiencing anger, fear, or sadness around the current situation. They or a family member may be vulnerable or have been laid off from a job. Emotions can be high and they will need someone with which to express their feelings.

Staying Connected Virtually

Take a Virtual Field Trip

Hundreds of zoos, museums, National Parks and art galleries are now offering free live webcams and virtual field trips to keep people at home entertained and educated.
Schedule a “meetup” time with your Friend or Little, then share the links below to start your virtual field trip!

 

Click here for more virtual trips you can take with your match.

Visit Wyoming

Take a virtual tour of famous landmarks and national parks of Wyoming! Visiting Wyoming promises to be a thrilling excursion. The western part of Wyoming is mostly covered by the Rocky Mountains, and the eastern part of the state is in the High Plains. Federal lands in the state include both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, and there are also recreation areas, national monuments, national forests, wildlife refuges, and more.

National Geographic Photo Ark

The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multiyear effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. Explore the thousands of photos in the Ark to find out more about wildlife around the world and the threats they face in the wild.

BatsLIVE

Face your fears! A Distance Learning Adventure brings bat conservation to life through webcasts, webinars, and online education resources. Bats are vital to healthy ecosystems and human economies worldwide.

The MET

Hop into a time machine with your Little and explore the world by time period, idea, or location. Uncover hidden objects and artworks from the museum's rooms

San Diego Zoo

You and your match can tune into the live cams and watch baboons, koalas, elephants, and more

New England Aquarium

Dive into a virtual tour of the New England Aquarium. Watch multiple live presentations such as shark feedings, harbor seal tooth brushing, and sea turtle hospital tour.

More Ideas...

  • Get Messy!

    Make different types of slime with your match virtually with these homemade slime recipes

    Click Here!

  • Find Your Inner Artist

    Get creative. Try a virtual drawing game with your match and let your creativity flow.

    Dice Art – all you need is dice, paper and something to draw with! Try creating fun works of art together.  

    Roll a doodle 

    Roll a Picasso 

    Scribble.io is a free multiplayer drawing and guessing game. One game consists of a few rounds in which every round someone has to draw their chosen word and others have to guess it to gain points! 

    Draw to your favorite music together. Put on your favorite music while on Facetime and draw as the music inspires you both. Draw how the music is making you feel or illustrate the story the song is telling you. After the song is over, compare pictures and compare the stories you created.

     

  • Bake Challah

    Meet with your match over FaceTime or Zoom and follow the same Challah recipe or try this recipe we provided here
     
    1 teaspoon yeast
    3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    a little more than 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    1 1/2 tablespoon oil
    2 cups bread flour
     
    In a bowl, mix yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit until it begins foaming. Add salt, oil and flour and mix. As mixture becomes tougher to mix, begin kneading by hand until dough is smooth and elastic - not sticky. Cover dough with damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for one hour. Brush with egg and toppings. Bake at 350 ° for about one half an hour (time will vary based on size. 

Volunteer Together

Make a difference with your Friend or Little. Choose a cause that you both are passionate about and volunteer your time together. Check out Jewish Family & Children's Service of Greater Boston and Boston Cares for more virtual and at-home volunteering options.
  • Make Personalized Cards for Homebound seniors

    Sending a handmade card is a wonderful way to connect with isolated seniors. In the past, this generation primarily communicated through handwritten notes and letters, so your personally-written message will be particularly meaningful.  

    Card making instructions can be found on JF&CS's website. 

  • Knit and Crochet Caring Crafts

    Use your crafting skills to give back to the community. Make scarves, a lap blanket, or a shawl for isolated older adults. 

    More information on JF&CS's website

Even more virtual ideas...

  • Make Valentine's Day Cards

    Make and send Valentine's Day cards to your Friend or Little. There are so many different ways to make cards beyond just folding paper in half. Check out how to make some of our favorite cards:

  • Let It Snow!

    This year, you may not be able to build a snowman with your Friend or Little, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the snow together. Create your own snow by making paper snowflakes. Meet up virtually and see how many different snowflakes you can make.

  • "Bake" a Mug Cake

    Who doesn't love cake! Try these 13 easy microwave cake recipes that you can make in your favorite mug. You and your Friend/Little can choose which flavors to try, then follow the recipe together during your virtual meeting. Mug cakes are a creative alternative to traditional baking that does not require an oven and can be made in minutes!

  • Virtual Art Workshop with PeaceLove

    PeaceLove promotes mental well-being by using creativity and self-expression to inspire, explore, and communicate. JBBBS has partnered with PeaceLove so that all volunteers have unlimited access to their virtual workshops. Explore your creative side with your Friend or Little next time you meet up virtually. Click here to check out our PeaceLove page and make sure to email Lorraine to receive your code to access the free workshops!

  • Scavenger Hunt

    Go on a Scavenger Hunt with the Wildlife Conservation Society. This activity can be done in your own backyard! Draw pictures or take photos if you wish, but most importantly, later share your findings with your Littles and Friends. (options also to share with the world wide web) Find activity by clicking here Scavenger Hunt

  • Virtual Art Galleries

    Visit some of the best art galleries in the world virtually. From Paris to New York to Amsterdam, you and your match can see priceless works of art from the world’s most famous artists. Option: you and your match can draw or create a piece of art at home inspired by something you saw and show each other virtually or mail it to each other!  Tell each other what it is you liked about your inspiration art piece or the piece you made.
     

  • Attend a Seminar, Learn Something New

    • Learn about Asian small-clawed Otters with the Houston Zoo. (click here: Live with Zookeeper Pricilla) If Otters are not your thing, check out Facebook pages such as the Houston Zoo and the San Diego Zoo for Facebook Live discussions.  Watch with your Friend or Little, re-cap together afterward to reinforce what things you bother learned!  Here are two more suggestions. 
    • History of the American Robin, click here Mass. Audubon. If you wait through the final pause, you’ll see a very funny ending! 
    • Learn about seals and desensitization training, click here New England Aquarium.  Covid 19, is affecting how our animals learn as well.  Seals need to understand why their trainers are wearing strange masks!  Watch to see how captive seals learn about important medical procedures. 

  • Meditate Together

    Try a guided meditation to practice mindfulness and reduce stress. Go to Headspace.com and screen share on zoom to do the meditation together. 

  • Do yoga or a fitness class together

    Get moving with your Little/Friend and virtually do yoga or other fitness classes together such as Zumba, a dance class, or work out routines. There are tons of free videos on Youtube that do not require any equipment besides your body. Screen share on Zoom to watch the video together. 

  • Learn a Tik Tok dance together!
  • Karaoke

    Take turns singing your favorite songs or sing along together. Check out free karaoke videos on Youtube or use a website like KaraFun

  • Start a Food Passport

    Get adventurous in the kitchen and try different foods from around the world with your match. Choose a country and pick out a recipe from their culture to complete together over Facetime. Try crepes from France, Matcha Cheesecake from Japan, and pasta from Italy. 

Staying Connected, 6 Feet Apart

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  • The Painting Place

    Make something beautiful that you and your match can cherish forever. The Painting Place in Wellesley offers outdoor seating to do pottery, paint canvas, and create colorful mosaics. You also have the option to pick up craft kits to do at a nearby park or in the backyard.

  • Visit the deCordova Sculpture Park

    Enjoy the fall weather and see some amazing outdoor sculptures by visiting the deCordova Sculpture Park with your Friend or Little. The Sculpture Park occupies 30 acres of beautifully landscaped lawns, forests, fields, gardens, and terraces on a rolling site along the shore of Flint’s Pond in Lincoln, Massachusetts. At any given time, approximately 60 sculptures are on display in the Sculpture Park.

  • Apple Picking

    We all know that the best way to enjoy the autumn weather is to go apple picking. Many farms and orchards in the Greater Boston area have social distance guidelines in place. This activity is a great outdoor option that you can do while remaining 6 feet apart. Try apple picking or visiting a farm next time you meet with your Little.

  • Geocaching

    Join the world's largest treasure hunt! Meet with your Little or Friend for an outdoor adventure and go Geocaching.
    Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a GPS or mobile device to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

  • Outdoor Art Exhibit

    Spend an afternoon at the Studios Without Walls' outdoor exhibition at Riverway Park in Brookline. There is even a scavenger hunt you can complete together!

  • Play Sports Outside

    Get outside and get moving! A great way to connect with your match outside is to kick a soccer ball around, play catch with a baseball, or play a match of tennis. There are many options to play sports together where you can remain 6 feet apart. Just remember to wash your wants and the equipment afterwards.

  • Have a Picnic

    Enjoy the outdoors and meal together at your favorite park or even in your own backyard. Don't forget to bring a meal (not shared, of course).  

  • Photography

    Our cameras are only a phone away! Take advantage of them, click away, and share with each other about what you are photographing. What “spoke” to you in your photos and why? Can you send each other some of your work in the mail? A framed photo can be a very meaningful gift! 

  • Socially Distant Games

    Bocce Ball, Cornhole, Paddle Ball, Shuffleboard, Toss, Frisbee, golf, volleyball and tennis all fit the bill. Make sure to sanitize your equipment and your hands before and after play! 

  • Explore the Emerald Necklace

    Outdoor Activities brought to you by the Emerald Necklace Conservancy: Tree ID Activity, Be the Scientist with iNaturalist, Learn About Birding 

  • Biking, Jogging, Roller Skating, Oh My!

    These types of activities are perfect for social distancing together.  Don’t forget your safety gear! 

  • Practice Your Hand Eye Coordination

    Play some frisbee, paddle ball, or beach volleyball together. Make sure to sanitize your equipment and your hands before and after play! Wear your masks and do not touch your face. Be safe and have fun!