It’s no surprise that the pandemic failed to magically disappear at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The experts say that we can expect it to still be around in 2021. As we wait for a vaccine or the COVID numbers to diminish, trying to stay positive is important.

There’s plenty of things we can all do to change our mood for the better. Some of us have become couch potatoes over the past six months. Many of our favorite activities were curtailed because of the virus, but we can still turn this around and try to look for the silver lining. It seems daunting, but it can be done. Try volunteering to lift your spirits.

The pandemic has impacted volunteer opportunities, but they are out there. Although COVID has altered the way people can volunteer, there are volunteer positions that are urgently needed. You might try virtual volunteering. The Green Valley/Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse (gvsvolunteering.org) lists some of the organizations needing virtual volunteers below:

• Friends of Madera Canyon: Volunteer to maintain the corporation books and financial records as their treasurer. Accountancy experience desired; Quicken/Quickbooks experience helpful but not required. Mentoring and training provided. Contact Rusty at: 520-232-3183.

• Posada Life Community Services: Entertain or make presentations for Posada Life Adult Day Services and/or Los Niños del Valle Preschool from home using your iPad or computer. If you play a musical instrument, you can share details and demonstrate the instrument ending with a short musical performance appropriate for preschoolers and/or adults. Virtual sing-a-longs or theatrical skits would be fun too. Contact La Posada Volunteer Manager Barbara Salazar at 520-648-7999, Barb@laposadagv.com

• Sahuarita Food Bank: Volunteer to be the data entry specialist for the Sahuarita Food Bank. Food banks track and report lots of data, so you will need extensive familiarity and experience with computers, including skill/accuracy with Excel and data entry. There is flexibility in both time and work location. You can also volunteer as a Sahuarita Food Bank volunteer scheduler. Schedulers must be very organized and skilled in emailing, texting, and phoning with excellent and timely communications. This role can be performed from home. Work outside. Volunteers are needed to glean fruit for the Sahuarita Food Bank this winter and spring. Schedules are flexible and dependent on the owners of the fruit trees. Volunteers need to haul ladders and bins of fruit and have very good balance. For any of these volunteer positions, complete the volunteer application on the website at sahuaritafoodbank.org, scan and email to cvalles@sfb-crc.org or mail to Carlos Valles, Sahuarita Food Bank, c/o The Good Shepherd UCC, 17750 S. La Cañada Drive, Sahuarita, AZ 85629.

• Valley Assistance Services: Volunteer opportunities include drivers for medical appointments and groceries, locally and to Tucson. Training and PPE provided. Contact Wes Moulton, w.moulton@valleyassistanceservices.org

• Paws Patrol of Green Valley: Volunteer to help in the office, help with administrative duties, socialize and feed cats, and clean kennels. Volunteers needed to foster cats and kittens until they are old enough to be spayed/neutered and ready for adoption — usually a two-month commitment. Medical technicians are also needed to help administer shots and medication. Contact Lisa, 520-207-4024.

• Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory ( http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/flwo) in Green Valley needs virtual public policy clerks to help with government policy research and education initiatives. If interested, contact Amy at 520-879-4407; amy.oliver@cfa.harvard.edu

• If you know how to set up and manage a Twitter account and or an Instagram page, make videos, use YouTube and editing software, you could help spread the word about volunteering. Put your skills to work during this pandemic to keep the services of many nonprofits going with volunteers. For more opportunities in the Green Valley/Sahuarita area of Southern Arizona, go to gvsvolunteering.org.