In light of Coronavirus, COVID-19, we at the Center for Community-based Learning, Leadership, and Research reaffirm our commitment to the well-being of UWM students, staff, and faculty, as well as our non-profit partners in the Milwaukee community.

For current updates on COVID-19 and its impact on the UWM campus, please visit

As you are moving your teaching online, we want to provide some guidance for how to plan for community engaged work and teaching for the rest of this semester. On Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 the CCBLLR office sent emails to instructors, students, and community partners with recommendations around COVID-19. Additional recommendations are below.


Organization Observation through Online Presence

  • This document outlines a way students could research and report on a non-profit. Note that there is a sentence highlighted in yellow on the doc that would need to be filled in to make it course content specific.

TakeCare Film Vignettes

  • A group of documentary filmmakers in California is making a series of health related films that address issues such as childhood trauma, nutrition, nature as a tool for better health, aging, veterans issues, the impact of poverty, and environmental issues. Although these films are not yet released for widespread consumption, they gave permission to share the site with you since it is in “Friends and Family Mode”. You could select one or two of these films (they are all about 5 minutes long) and ask students to write a paper on the issue presented. You would just need to provide some thoughtful prompts for them to write about connected to your course content.

The Problem We All Live With – Part One – This American Life Podcast

  • If you are teaching a Multicultural America 150 course, or another course that is examining issues of race and how it intersects with the lives of young people and public education, we suggest this podcast and some prompts for an online discussion. This is especially good for classes like the 150s where so many students were assigned youth serving sites such as schools or youth serving organizations.

Documentary 53206 or Dream Big Dreams Film

  • For a very local look at community issues, we suggest the above films available through the UWM library and online from the PBS website.

If your students are doing project-based service learning, meaning they are not actually going to a site but rather creating a product for a local non-profit (grant writing, professional writing, design, or map making), then we would encourage you to change nothing, and rather just suggest virtual meetings with the partners to talk about the projects.


As you are social distancing, to help prevent to spread of the Coronavirus, we want to remind you that remaining connected is important for your mental health and well-being. Below are some ways to remain connected to the community.

    • Vote in Upcoming Elections-
      The 2020 Spring Election and Presidential Preference Vote is April 7th. Visit this link for more information on how to register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and find your polling place.
    • Complete the 2020 Census-
      According to the census website, “The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.” Visit this link for information about the census and how to complete it.



The CCBLLR office will update this webpage with volunteer opportunities that follow social distancing guidelines so you remain safe and healthy. Volunteering remotely is a great way to spend some of your time while you are at home – it will help you feel connected to the outside community, and it will allow you to make a difference in the lives of others. Below are current remote/virtual volunteer service opportunities that you explore.



    • K-12 Online Tutoring Project-
      Are you interested in supporting elementary, middle, or high school students with their academics during this period of uncertainty? The Online Tutoring Project matches college-age tutors with families seeking academic support while their kids are home. Tutors can indicate the subjects and grade levels they are comfortable working with and are asked to commit to tutoring two students for two sessions each week; the sessions last about 30-45 minutes each. Individuals with experience working in educational environments are strongly encouraged to apply! The CCBLLR with provide logistical support for the tutor onboarding process. Please indicate your interest in joining the Online Tutoring Project by completing the form.
    • Virtually Tutor Hartford University School Kids-
      Hartford University School (located on the UWM Campus) is seeking help in engaging students through distance learning. Volunteer will work remotely with Hartford Ave school kids who are below grade level, and help is urgently needed to help bring these students to grade level. Volunteers would engage with middle school students through a variety of means, including phone, calls, google meets, etc. Volunteers must have already previously passed an MPS background check. For additional information, contact Mr. Hill, a Hartford Ave school math teacher, at or phone 414 534-0456.
    • Make Masks for Milwaukee youth at Pathfinders Shelter-
      Pathfinders continues to do the essential work of meeting the needs of the city’s most vulnerable young people. On the front lines, we are feeling the effects of resource shortages, especially resources that protect our staff and young people from spreading and catching COVID-19. Many people are getting creative and making masks for organizations in need. If you are able to volunteer your time, please consider making masks for our young people who, for various reasons, have a more difficult time remaining in a safe, clean space and for the Pathfinders employees who are serving them. For more information email



    • Send a UWM Neighbor a Card or Letter of Encouragement-
      We are looking for UWM Students, Faculty, and Staff who would be willing to send a letter or card of encouragement to a local older adult during these difficult times. We are partnering with Eastside Senior Services to hopefully make the day of one of our UWM neighbors as many people are isolated during these unique circumstances. If you are interested please fill out our online request form found at We will review your request to be matched with an older adult and be in touch with further details. If you have any questions you can email       
    • Call and Check-in on Local Older Adults with Vital Voices-
      Are you interested in volunteering with local older adults via phone? If soVital Voices needs volunteers to do daily or weekly check-ins with older adults. Volunteers will have a choice of how many older adults they are scheduled to call. If you are interested contact for more information!
    • Check-in on Elders through the Eras Senior Network-
      We are all going through a turbulent time and our seniors are now more isolated than ever. Eras aims to decrease the feeling of loneliness while creating a sense of calm for our senior clients through weekly wellness calls placed by volunteers. Volunteers will check in on the senior or adult with a disability to identify if they have enough food, medication, or are in need of meeting with a medical professional. Volunteers are also encouraged to spend some time chatting with the seniors to help brighten their day. To sign up to volunteer for this or other opportunities, please visit their
    • Check-in on Elders through Serving Older Adults-
      Serving Older Adults of Southeast Wisconsin (SOA), runs the programming at the 5 county-owned senior centers. Although general programming at the centers is on hold, they are distributing meals in a drive-through format to those older adults who need them. They are reaching out to seniors to check in on them. They have over 5,000 participants, so they welcome any help. A volunteer application can be downloaded from their website at Volunteers should fill out the online application form so SOA can complete a background check before you get started. For more information contact Cathy Woods at 414-628-6755. 



    • Mentor Refugees through Catholic Charities Milwaukee-
      If you are looking for an opportunity to work with the Milwaukee refugee and immigrant communities join the Milwaukee Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services volunteer team! Volunteers will work directly and remotely with learners to improve their English speaking, reading and writing, review the 100 civics questions, information/vocabulary on the N400 (Citizenship Application) questions, encourage learners to work independently on their English and, just to check-in. Lessons take place one-on-one or in small groups once a week for 20-30 minutes. Although teaching/tutoring experience is helpful, no experience or additional language skills are required. This opportunity is ideal for volunteers who want to continue to support refugees/immigrants in a more structured setting during COVID-19. Training and materials will be provided to all volunteers. For more information or to sign-up please contact Jessica Brandt at



    • Participate in the Milwaukee Riverkeeper DIY Spring Clean-up-
      Each spring Milwaukee Riverkeeper has a city-wide river clean-up to keep our city’s waterways as clean as possible. Due to the Safer at Home Act, this year’s in-person clean-up will not be taking place. However, you can still make a difference by participating in their Do It Yourself Spring Clean-Up. During Earth month, it would be great if we could all pitch it by grabbing a bag and taking a walk around your neighborhood to pick-up trash. Trash gets moved to our waterways and eventually ends up in Lake Michigan. Make the pledge to help clean-up your waterways and find more information at
    • Volunteer Remotely with the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center-
      The Schlitz Audubon Center has a unique opportunity to volunteer remotely until they are able to reopen. They need assistance creating materials for their nature preschool. These items include painted rocks, small wooden tree houses, doll clothing, and cutting animal pictures from magazines for collage projects. If you are interested in learning more please contact



    • Help build the African American Civil War Soldiers Database-
      Volunteer to help transcribe images of African Americansoldiers military service records for the National Archives and Records Administration.  The goal of this project is to improve the knowledge of the African Americans who were in the American Civil War and provide their descendants with access to information on their ancestors. The African American Civil War Museum is using this information to build a database of an estimated 200,000 soldiers. If interested please go to
    • Apply to Public Allies Americorps Program-
      Public Allies is now accepting positions for their Americorps Program. For this position you will serve 10 months at a local non-profit where you will participate in 200+ Hours of social justice and leadership development workshops. You will earn a living stipend of $18,000 and receive an education award of $6,095. For more information or to apply go to
    • Transcribe Oral History Videos with the Jewish Museum Milwaukee-
      Volunteer to watch and transcribe oral history videos that have been done with members of Milwaukee’s Jewish community.  Most interviews will be about 45 minutes to an hour in length, but some are shorter. While viewing these videos you will also be transcribing the information in an interview type format.  To sign-up or for more information please contact
    • Find local volunteer opportunities in your area on the Volunteer Wisconsin COVID-19 Response Page-
      Not in the Milwaukee area? Volunteer Wisconsin now has a COVID-19 response page where you are able to search for local service opportunities by the county or city in Wisconsin that you are currently living in. We realize that with classes moving online for the rest of the semester that a lot of our students have returned to their hometowns for the rest of the year. This is a great way for you to get still get involved while being away from campus. If interested in searching these opportunities go to



      • Donate items of need to the Gathering Meal Program-
        The Gathering Milwaukee is a meal program in Milwaukee that our office has long been a partner with. They provide 10 meals a week to people who would otherwise go hungry.The Gathering is currently in urgent need of tuna pouches, bottled water, juice boxes, to-go containers with compartments, salty snacks, and fresh fruit/fruit cups. If interested in donating, items can be dropped off at 1300 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Monday through Friday between 7:00 am and 8:30 am or between 9:30 am and 10:30 am



The CCBLLR office will update this webpage with volunteer opportunities for the summer. Some of the following volunteer opportunities may be in person.

    • Volunteer with Girls Rock MKE-
      Girls Rock MKE is a one-week summer day camp for girls and non-binary youth ages 8-16. Youth campers of all skill levels learn an instrument (guitar, bass, drums, keyboard or vocals), form a band, write a song, and perform their song on stage at an end-of-camp showcase for friends, family and fans. Camp sessions are held for a week in June and a week in July at the UW-Milwaukee Helene Zelazo Center. Showcases are performed at Turner Hall Ballroom in downtown Milwaukee. During the summer they are seeking both folks with musical talent, but also those that are interested in just being fun, positive role models for campers, who can lead team-building and other such activities. Before summer arrives, they are interested in volunteers who can help plan camp activities and assist with aspects of camp administration. If you are interested in signing up to volunteer you can go to or email Arielle.



Are you a UWM staff person who would like to learn about ways you can volunteer to support other colleagues or are you a UWM staff person who would like to learn about how volunteers can offer support you and your family during these times? Visit the sign up form for our Online Tutoring Project, Kids Story Hour, Afternoon Grind Socials, and Pen Pal Program.

If you have questions or need help, contact  Laurie Marks by email or call 414-229-3161.