United Against Poverty Call for Volunteers
Complete Care's charity partner United Against Poverty Orlando (UP Orlando) needs our help. The current crisis we are all facing has had an enormous impact on communities here in Central Florida and UP Orlando has been there to answer the call.
The need for the UP Orlando services has never been greater. The UP Grocery which operates in three different locations in Central Florida, has seen membership double since the crisis started. Before the crisis, there would be on average 15 new member applications daily. Currently that number is 30 new applicants a day. Every day.
Last week UP Orlando was able to take donated produce out to the community to offer at a drive through location and the demand was so great, 150 cars were in line all through the 8 hours they were able to continue donating produce to people in need. Two complete semi trailers were emptied taking care of people in need.
UP Orlando's Executive Director Eric Gray says that the community and local businesses have stepped up with donations and supplies have surprisingly not been a problem during the surge in demand. There is an issue facing UP Orlando that Gray needs help with. "We are at a critical level of volunteers" says Gray.
The daily need for volunteers is typically about 70 per day to help with various functions to keep the operations running and able to provide services. Those volunteer spots were often filled by businesses and charity groups volunteering their time to help. With the stay at home orders and the current crisis, those groups are not active and the volunteers have all but disappeared. UP Orlando is getting about 20 volunteers a day compared to the daily need of 70. "Our staff has really stepped up and is giving everything they've got right now but we need help," says Gray.
Like other essential businesses that have remained open, UP Orlando has put many protocols in place to protect the safety of shoppers, staff, and volunteers. Face coverings are required to enter any area of the UP Orlando facility. It doesn't matter who you are or if you are there to shop or work, you have to have a face covering to enter the facility. The entire store is sanitized 4 times daily at 8:30, 12:00, 4:30, and 6:30. Staff and volunteers work hard to make sure the store is safe and sanitary every day.
If you are hesitant to volunteer because of safety, you need not worry. The UP Orlando team enforces their protocols very strictly and has ensured the safety of their teams and shoppers since the start of this crisis.
To volunteer, you need to attend a 1-hour orientation to learn the various positions that volunteers are needed for. The orientations take place on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 2 p.m. After your orientation, you'll be able to work volunteer shifts. A volunteer shift typically lasts for 3-hours and will typically be in bagging, stocking, or cleaning/sanitizing the store. They are down to just 20 volunteers a day with a need of 70 per day. They need our help.
To learn more about upcoming events, volunteering, and ways you can help our communities, head to the United Against Poverty Orlando website and click on the location that is best for you.