Research shows that volunteering your time has a variety of benefits: it can decrease stress and depression, help you stay physically fit and socially connected, and even prolong your life.

Who wouldn’t want these benefits, especially during the coronavirus quarantine? Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t volunteer! Here are five ways you can volunteer while social distancing yourself:

1. Donate Extra Items

Because of the country’s economic state, organizations, hospitals, and families are in need of food and clothing. Extra items such as unwanted food items, personal hygiene products, diapers, baby wipes, or toilet paper are perfect for donating to a food bank. You can find your local food bank through this link.

2. Reach Out to Others

Many people are experiencing loneliness due to stay-at-home orders. Who could you check up on during this time? Call a friend, text a coworker, or send a hilarious meme or video clip to someone who would appreciate it. Go a step further and contact a local assisted living center to see if any senior residents would like a new penpal. This is a great time to connect with old friends and make new virtual ones.

3. Help Sew Face Masks

Medical facilities and hospitals are currently experiencing a shortage of face masks. To help boost supply, learn how to make face masks and then donate them. Here is a how-to tutorial to help you get started.

4. Donate Food Gift Cards to Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers are sacrificing their energy and time to combat the coronavirus. One way to show your appreciation and support is by giving them a nutritious meal. Although restaurants have closed their dining areas, many are still offering takeout and delivery. Gift card donations are a great way to support your local restaurants and the healthcare professionals putting their lives on the line.

5. Volunteer with Established Organizations

There are several organizations that offer virtual volunteer opportunities. Find a cause that you are interested in and begin! Here is a list of 25 remote volunteering jobs, with links to the related organizations.

Don’t let the quarantine prevent you from strengthening your community! Being stuck at home with extra time on your hands might just be the perfect opportunity to become a volunteer. By reaching out, you will help improve the lives of others while taking care of your own body, mind, and heart!