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In Uncertain Times, Find New Ways to Give Back

By October 18, 2021Connections
Volunteer virtually laptop cellphone
Sophia Cuschieri

Sophia Cuschieri

Since moving to Issaquah Highlands in 2013, I’ve noticed all the volunteer work done in the community; clearly, service is a fundamental value held by many Issaquah Highlands residents. As someone who also values service, I had the privilege to serve as a lead volunteer at the University of Washington Medical Center throughout my undergraduate career at the University of Washington.

In March 2020, with the rise of COVID-19, I was informed my in-person volunteer work at the University of Washington Medical Center would be suspended. I decided to work as an undergraduate researcher studying stem cells; however, I severely missed volunteering and making a difference in my community. That’s when I came across TeleHealth Access for Seniors, a student-led nonprofit that collects old mobile devices and monetary donations to provide seniors and low-income individuals with devices they need to access virtual healthcare.

I am sure many of us have heard of or even used virtual healthcare throughout the pandemic and appreciate its convenience and the ability to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. I am amazed at the collaborative efforts of TeleHealth Access for Seniors volunteers at the local, state, and national levels to increase virtual healthcare access, including $13,000 and 231 devices collected in Washington alone given to local clinics in King County that serves residents on the Eastside.

Telehealth Access for SeniorsAs a virtual TeleHealth Access for Seniors volunteer, I reach out to local media and service organizations to share information about the organization’s goals and how others can help us reach our goals through donations and volunteerism. In person, I collect devices from individuals who decide to donate their devices and help transport those devices to our local partner clinics. At TeleHealth Access for Seniors, there is a wide array of virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities, from writing grants and helping with tech support for seniors to organizing fundraisers.

I am grateful to find this largely virtual volunteer opportunity with TeleHealth Access for Seniors to continue my passion for service. If you lost your in-person volunteer activities during the pandemic, I encourage you to seek out virtual volunteer opportunities to continue to give back to our community.

For more available volunteer opportunities available, check out issaquahhighlands.com/volunteer.

Sophia is a senior at the University of Washington and a Central Park resident.