These recommendations will be updated as needed and directed by health professionals, government officials, and by recommendation of the NLFW staff and Board of Directors.
Recommendations On Volunteerism:
We are in full support of local and national recommendations to embrace these new practices that encourage social distancing, monitoring your own health, and being as cautious as possible.
Wise words from Andy Crouch that we embrace: "The reason to alter our practices, especially the way we gather, is not self-protection. For one thing, in the case of this particular virus, if individuals are young and healthy, infection may pose not much more threat than the ordinary seasonal flu. The change is needed because our vulnerable neighbors — those of any age with compromised immune systems, and those over 70 years old — are at grave risk. One of the basic axioms of the Christian life is that the “strong” must consider the “weak” (see Rom. 15). We are making these choices not to minimize our own risk, but to protect others from risk." - “A Guide for Christian Leaders in the Time of Coronovirus”
Volunteerism Changes & Recommendations:
Groups of less than ten people can meet together with minimal risk, provided that:
- No one present is sick or has any reason to think they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
- Change your greetings by eliminating or reducing your physical touch for the time being.
- Eliminate carpooling to job sites.
- Shared surfaces (tools, equipment, supplies, etc.) are disinfected before and after the project.
- Everyone washes their hands thoroughly (more than 20 seconds) upon arrival and upon returning to your home or on the project
- Food and drink are served individually
- As much distance as possible is maintained between members of different households and their belongings.
We must all immediately change our practices for the good of ourselves and our neighbors. Our mission is first done out of love for our recipients and not to place them in any more danger than they would otherwise suffer due to our intervention/assistance.
This is basic but we have to highlight the disruption and change that has to be implemented right now—not out of panic or fear, but out of great love and intentionality. Those seeking to serve this vulnerable population must understand you do present a risk to those, even though you are trying to show God’s love.
As of right now, we invite basic self-assessment in light of what must change in how we all deliver service through NeighborLink. NeighborLink encourages volunteers be mobilized in smaller groups of 10 or less. Spacing will be a new but necessary practice for many of our larger volunteer groups. Great changes adopted now will serve to extend the term and the amount of fruit born for God’s glory.
Derrick and Jeff are available to explain and support volunteerism under these "new normal" practices.
We have every reason to trust that this epidemic will pass. However, we know that it will be present for many weeks or months to come. Therefore, we're taking all the necessary precautions to act ethically— to do what is right in the trust that we can do good and do well at the same time.