Students find creative ways to volunteer while also staying safe during pandemic

Senior+Jackson+Morrice+is+on+the+far+left.+Volunteers+for+the+Diamond+Head+Theatre+stand+outside+of+the+theater%2C+measuring+the+distance+deemed+safe+between+people.++The+performing+arts+face+a+few+challenges+that+not+many+face+during+the+pandemic.+Photo+contributed+by+Mary+Calantoc%2C+Director+of+Special+Projects+for+Diamond+Head+Theatre.+

Mary Calantoc, Director of Special Projects for Diamond Head Theatre.

Senior Jackson Morrice is on the far left. Volunteers for the Diamond Head Theatre stand outside of the theater, measuring the distance deemed safe between people. The performing arts face a few challenges that not many face during the pandemic. Photo contributed by Mary Calantoc, Director of Special Projects for Diamond Head Theatre.

Siena Usui, Staff Writer

Volunteer work during a pandemic is probably the last thing on most people’s minds. But, with college applications just around the corner and months of lockdown due to COVID-19, students are finding ways to get their volunteer hours while also staying safe. 

“I think everyone has had a harder time in this virtual environment trying to stay social and feel like we’re connected. Volunteering and community service can help fill that void for a lot of us,” said teacher Stephanie Render, who advises the Easter Seals Club

Their club has been planning for their members to start doing activities that have minimized contact or none at all.

“One of the things that I’ve come up with that is still within planning is doing digital storytimes. We would have pre-recorded videos of us reading stories or even acting some out with props,” said senior Malia Gady, an Easter Seals Club leader. 

They want to try to send mini care packages to the kids that they’ve been working with to let them know that they’re still thinking of them, Render said.

Volunteers for the Diamond Head Theatre, including Senior Jackson Morrice (left), stand outside of the theater, measuring the distance deemed safe between people. The performing arts face a few challenges that not many face during the pandemic. Photo contributed by Mary Calantoc, Director of Special Projects for Diamond Head Theatre.

The Interact Club will be donating pet supplies and toys to the Humane Society this weekend and will be having a restaurant fundraiser, with the proceeds going to the cause Stamp Out Polio

“We just gave donations to a donation drive for RYSE, which is a youth shelter in Kailua. We had the members go in their car and bring donations to the Pacific Club in town,” said senior Alyssa Chun, leader of the Interact Club. 

Junior Alexa Stoebenau is an equestrian who is a part of the volunteer organization, Koko Crater Stables (KCS) Junior Staff Leadership program. 

“Our normal activities aren’t happening right now, so the volunteers, myself included, have been coming up with activities that aren’t as time consuming and are COVID-19 safe,” said Stoebenau. 

Maintaining the barn that she goes to and it’s property has been just one of the multiple tasks that Stoebenau has been doing to replace parts of her usual routine. 

Besides community service for clubs, students have been involved in other areas as well, such as theatre and other extracurricular activities.

Senior Jackson Morrice volunteered at Diamond Head Theatre’s camp, where they do shows for kids depending on their age range.

As a result of COVID-19, there have been a few roadblocks that students in performing arts face during these difficult times that not many others deal with.

“Some of the challenges that acting, singing, or dancing provide to an actor or somebody on stage is that one, when they sing, more particles of saliva tend to come out of the mouth. So we had to ensure that they wore a mask and face shield. We also had everyone stand 6 feet apart by taping x’s onto the stage,” said Morrice. 

With social distancing in place, students have had to rethink their plans for giving back to those in need.

“It’s been really challenging trying to think of what members can do,” said Chun. 

According to an article published in Healthline, some ideas for virtual volunteering include searching databases to find opportunities to help communities, fulfilling wish lists, and doing virtual babysitting.

“They can do community service by giving donations or doing arts and crafts projects. For example, making toys for the Humane Society. Or just helping out at a local food drive. There are plenty of different ways, it’s definitely a lot harder but it’s something we have to get used to now,” said Chun. 

According to an article published by The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM), within 24 hours of a government call for volunteers for the National Health Service (NHS), 500,000 people had signed up.

“I think it’s a great way to make connections with people and to learn more about people within your area. You get a new perspective and it’s very humbling to help someone else out and the experience as a whole is very enlightening,” said Gady.