The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Volunteer Opportunities Empower SLOHS Students to Help During COVID-19


  In-person volunteer opportunities for essential organizations in San Luis Obispo remain open for San Luis Obispo High School students, provided they follow social distancing guidelines. 

  Virtual opportunities for volunteering are also available, allowing SLOHS students to donate time and resources to help with the crisis without leaving their homes. 

  Opportunities for in-person local volunteering include the Food Bank, the Cal Poly Cat Program, and senior service center Wilshire Community Services. 

  Students can also sign up to be on a volunteer list through Emergency SLO by emailing [email protected] and listing their name, age, technical skills, phone number, and email. 

  All volunteer opportunities reinforce similar precautions: don’t volunteer if you’re sick or high-risk in any way, comply with all local regulations, and practice social distancing while volunteering. 

  “The SLO Food Bank is taking proactive and voluntary steps at our warehouse and distribution sites to help reduce contact with and/or spread of COVID-19,” said the SLO Food Bank on their website. 

  Some of these steps include providing gloves, increasing sanitary awareness, and encouraging social distancing. The SLO Food Bank is still accepting volunteers through sign-ups here, however volunteers must sign up; walk-ins are prohibited due to social distancing measures. Volunteers must be over 16. Most shifts run for two and a half hours. 

  The Cal Poly Cat Program is taking similar measures, requiring volunteers to wash their hands before entering and restricting the number of volunteers per shift, according to their website. Through the Cal Poly Cat Program, students aged 18 and older can play with and care for cats after completing volunteer training. Minors may also volunteer when accompanied by a parent/guardian. To sign up, email [email protected] or call (805) 202-6316. 

  As a volunteer for Wilshire Community Services, students would help seniors with various tasks, both physical and virtual. 

  “If you’re younger than 18 you could wash windows or do yard work. You could also sign up with your parent(s), doing things like meal prep or grocery deliveries. We also have a program called Caring Callers, where a volunteer aged 18 or older has a weekly phone visit with an isolated senior,” said Kristen Grasso, volunteer coordinator for Wilshire Community Services. 

  To volunteer with Wilshire Community services, contact [email protected]. The time commitment is typically around one hour a week, but the commitment varies as different opportunities open up. 

  Virtually, volunteer opportunities abound for students of any age. offers volunteer opportunities through which teens can help with the COVID-19 crisis. Many of these are simple and quick, like writing cards to seniors. Other opportunities include hosting virtual dance and exercise videos, coordinating the development of an app to help with the crisis, and video chatting with elders. Volunteer opportunities for kids and teens can be found here.

  The Red Cross offers a virtual application to become a volunteer and be matched with critical volunteer opportunities in your area, both online and physical. Apply here to help with essential services. If under 18, a parent or guardian will have to complete a release form for your participation. 

  In addition to donating their time, students can donate critical resources to alleviate the strain of the crisis. 

  Students over age 16 can become blood donors if they meet eligibility requirements. If eligible, call (805) 543-4290 or visit to schedule an appointment. For more information, visit facilitates the delivery of personal protective equipment from ordinary people to medical personnel. The website displays local drop-off locations for the equipment. Two drop-offs are available in San Luis Obispo county: Med Stop Urgent Care on 283 Madonna Road, which is accepting N95 and surgical masks, and Community Health Centers of the Central Coast in Santa Maria, which is accepting N95s, face shields, permeable gowns, and more.

  If you’d prefer to donate your masks without leaving your house, go to to send your masks through mail to a healthcare worker in need. They accept surgical, N95, and hand-sewn masks (how-to here), however surgical and N95 masks are preferred.

  Please consider donating to these organizations if you have the materials listed above. Our healthcare workers need all the protective equipment available, particularly in this time of shortages.

  Whether through a contribution of time or a donation of resources, charitable opportunities enable SLOHS students to make a positive difference during this time of crisis. 

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