Calling all V Team volunteers: Take action in October

By: Rebecca Nicole Laming

Here’s a monthly round-up of volunteer events to help move the world forward for everyone.

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October not only signals the start of a new season and financial quarter, but these weeks are overflowing with opportunities to support communities in need. Domestic Violence Awareness Month, International Day of the Girl, World Mental Health Day, National Coming Out Day and civic engagement are just a sample of the moments recognized within the month.

While at first glance, these causes may look vastly different from each other, but there is a common thread that connects them — the need for solidarity and action to move the world forward for everyone. Our Volunteer Champions from around the world curated a menu of opportunities to help you get started. Let's make this October a month of service and an opportunity to go #ForwardTogether as the V Team.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience intimate partner violence, and incidences of DV have increased during COVID-19. Now, more than ever, we need to come together on behalf of those scared, silenced and abused. You can help by participating in the below virtual events.

  • Leverage your professional skills to provide organizations combating domestic violence with support to strengthen their work. Verizon I Verizon Media 
  • Become a volunteer “listener” to help domestic violence victims through emotional stress — something deeply needed during this time of uncertainty. Volunteers will be trained prior to participating. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Send letters or drawings to encourage and inspire survivors and their children during a very difficult time in their lives. Verizon I Verizon Media

Bonus team-building opportunity (Verizon Media): JBWS offers a lifeline of resources to domestic violence victims and their families while advocating for social reform to prevent partner violence. Lace up with your fellow V Teamers and take a walk in honor and advocacy of domestic violence victims. In addition to the walk, create original content for JBWS' YouTube channel by reading books or creating family-friendly content.

World Mental Health Day

While mental health conditions affect 1 in 4 people worldwide, its impact extends to everyone directly or indirectly through family, friends or coworkers. World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10 every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness and mobilizing efforts for greater mental health resources. And, with the continued and jarring impact of COVID-19, this year even more critical to come together and take action.

  • Lead a mindfulness or meditation exercise via Zoom to help support the emotional and mental health of students. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Send older adults living in care facilities handwritten letters, alleviating the detrimental effects of isolation during COVID-19. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Offer time and a listening ear to  older adults, single-Mothers, or domestic violence victims needing emotional support. Verizon I Verizon Media

International Day of the Girl

Since 2012, October 11 has been officially recognized as the International Day of the Girl, an opportunity to address the unique challenges girls face. There are 1.1 billion girls in under-resourced communities who could grow up to change the world if given access to basic necessities like secondary education, proper nutrition and family planning services. Together, we can stand up for all girls by showing up and making a difference as the V Team.

  • Sign up to become a volunteer and mentor a young woman to inspire and encourage her to be her best self and take a virtual walk to raise awareness. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Join an online event to learn why building the capacity and skills of grassroots women leaders is critical to community resilience and climate solutions. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Record yourself facilitating STEM activities to equip underprivileged girls with critical skills. Verizon I Verizon Media

National Coming Out Day

October 11 also marks National Coming Out Day, a day dedicated to creating a world where living openly and honestly is possible by raising awareness of civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. We are proud to foster an inclusive culture so that every V Teamer feels empowered to bring their authentic self to work. Please see the below opportunities to volunteer in support and celebration of LGBTQIA+.

  • Provide critical food, health and wellness items to LGBTQIA+ youth in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Provide life-saving and life-affirming support to LGBTQIA+ young people via chat and text as a Crisis Counselor. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Connect with an incarcerated individual who identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA+ as a penpal to correspond, and participate in harm reduction and affirmation. Verizon I Verizon Media

Civic engagement

The freedom to vote is the cornerstone of democracy and America's most important hard-won right. Leading up to November, we have curated a series of volunteer events below that focus on voter and civic engagement. The goal here is simple: Encourage all eligible voters — from all parties and viewpoints — to exercise their constitutional right in the upcoming 2020 election.

  • Purchase and donate face shields to keep voters safe during the upcoming election. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Become a poll worker to help make sure we have a safe, fair and efficient election. Verizon I Verizon Media
  • Help fight misinformation by labeling misleading information in news articles. Verizon I Verizon Media

Take action together.

Participating in the above events contribute to our goal of 2.5 million volunteer hours by 2025 and ladder up to Citizen Verizon, our plan to address the most pressing societal issues.

The world is changing, but we can make sure it changes for the better. No matter how you get involved this month, there is a cause and community that needs your support.

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