LOS ANGELES - When the governor of California put out a call for healthy Californians to sign up to volunteer Marcia Arreola jumped at the opportunity. She had been wanting to give back in this coronavirus era.
Arreola is already giving back as a therapist who founded her own non-profit, Jonathan's Giving Tree in response to the death of her 19-year-old son who died 16 years ago in a car accident. The Orange County mother went to college, got her degree, and last year became a voice for other parents who know such grief.
When governor Gavin Newsom spoke of volunteer opportunities on Tuesday's daily news briefing Arreola answered the call. She went on to the website and clicked one of the boxes that spoke to her. She wanted to do her volunteer work from the safety over her home. The site offers an opportunity to make calls to seniors who are alone. Arreola's daughter is a cancer nurse and she didn't want to risk possible exposure to the coronavirus with her daughter working with vulnerable patients.
Other opportunities at Californians For All allows for people to work at a food bank or deliver meals or donate at a blood bank. Newsom said twenty-two thousand people signed up in the first day alone.
With the pandemic Jonathan's Giving Tree continues to do therapy work but group sessions no longer meet at Orange County's Ronald McDonald House. Like much of America they now meet online. With the pandemic Arreola says is also opening up therapy now to anyone who wants or needs it.
For more information and volunteer opportunities click here.