In retirement, many individuals decide to donate their newfound “extra time” to nonprofits that help their community. Meals on Wheels (MOW), which operates with a mission to feed homebound seniors and those in need, is just one example of an organization in the Tri-Valley that relies on its pool of volunteers to make an impact.

The sweeping shelter-in-place order not only made all seniors homebound, but also it restricted a heaping handful of volunteers from aiding in the effort. More than ever, volunteers are needed.

The unfortunate reality is that many now have extra time due to job loss or reduced hours. These are uncertain times, with stress, depression and anxiety punctuating daily life. But it’s also a perfect time to channel that energy into something positive, like helping others.

Spectrum Community Services is a nonprofit organization that assists low-income individuals, families and seniors. It’s also a MOW member, delivering food to homebound seniors in the Pleasanton and Livermore areas. To contact the Livermore office, call Carrie Oldes at 925-421-4657. To contact the Pleasanton office, call Jennifer Choi at 925-931-5385. For more information, visit https://www.spectrumcs.org/senior-services/meals-on-wheels. To read more about MOW, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.

Some organizations are holding back on in-person volunteering, due to COVID-19 social distance requirements, but they continue to seek contributions of food or virtual volunteering. Tri-Valley Haven Food Pantry is seeking milk, eggs and nonperishable food donations at its location at 418 Junction Ave. in Livermore. Before delivering supplies, please call 925-449-1664. Open Heart Kitchen is another nonprofit pumping the brakes on certain volunteer efforts, though it continues to call for community help from a distance. To learn how you can assist during COVID-19, visit https://www.openheartkitchen.org/response-to-covid-19/.

Take care of your family; take care of yourself; and if you have the extra time or an extra can to spare, take care of your neighbor as well.