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15 Ways to Volunteer from Home

Author: Tatiana Morand
April 8, 2020
🕑 6 min read

We’re all experiencing a significant shift in lifestyle right now.

We’re learning how to work remotely, entertain ourselves in close quarters, and not murder our significant others (but at least our pets are thriving!).

We’ve had to give up a lot in the name of stopping the spread of coronavirus, but one thing you don’t need to give up right now is volunteering.

Volunteering from home is a great way to spend some of your time during social isolation, and it’s much needed. No matter what your skillsets and passions are, there are numerous opportunities to volunteer online or from your home (or at a safe social distance).

In this post, I’m going to share how you can virtually support a range of causes as well as giving back in your own community during this scary and uncertain time.

7 Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re looking to use your skills in the service of an organization, or get your organization listed online, check out these sites.

1. VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch is a long-running volunteer organization that matches passion and talent with important causes. They have hundreds of virtual volunteering experiences in areas ranging from health and medicine, children and youth, education, to community building. They’ve also created a COVID-19 hub specifically for coronavirus volunteer opportunities.

Learn about virtual volunteer opportunities here, and visit the COVID-19 hub here.

2. Points of Light Global Network

Points of Light Global Network organizes an annual Global Volunteer Month, which happens to be April. They connect virtual volunteers with projects across 37 countries across the globe. You can search for off-site projects that fit your schedule and skills, or find do-it-yourself projects that you can do from home.

Visit Points of Light Global Network’s virtual volunteering opportunities and resources here.

3. UN Online Volunteering

The UN has created an online portal of online volunteering activities, many that support women and youth. They currently have numerous COVID-19 specific virtual projects. Search for volunteer opportunities ranging from translation, art and design, writing and editing, advocacy, community organizing, technology development, and more.

Search through the UN Online Volunteering site here.

4. Crisis Text Hotline

The Crisis Text Line relies on volunteer crisis counselors who work from home. Trained crisis counselors answer texts from people in crisis, through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. The current COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge impact on mental health, with many struggling with uncertainty, panic, unemployment, and overwhelm. Now more than ever, those in crisis need support. Other crisis phone lines in your area may also be looking for support.

Learn how you can become a crisis counselor from home.

5. Translators Without Borders

If you’re bilingual, this one is for you! Translators without Borders uses volunteers to translate millions of words. Volunteers are used to translate medical texts and crisis responses, both of which are much needed right now. They also depend on volunteers for other roles, like project management, graphic or web design, and fundraising.

You can apply to become a virtual volunteer with Translators Without Borders through this page.

6. Bookshare®

Bookshare® is an organization that makes print materials accessible to children and adults with disabilities. It counts on virtual volunteers to take on tasks like scanning and proofreading, describing images, and providing support for Bookshare® teachers and families.

Learn more about volunteering with Bookshare® by visiting this site.

7. Table Wisdom

Table Wisdom connects adults and foreign-born students through weekly mentoring video chats. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has launched a Co-video Partner program that matches volunteers with someone from a different city (to include those who are not a foreign-born) who has been affected by social distancing. Participants will take part in 30-minute weekly video chats that allow for meaningful conversations during this crisis.

Become a Table Wisdom volunteer for an international student or an isolated person in need by visiting this site.

Click through to claim your 60-day trial of WildApricot to create effective QR codes that will speed up event check-in.

8 More Ways to Give Back to Your Community

The coronavirus has impacted every community across the world. With mass business and school closures, quarantine causing isolation, frontline workers put at risk, and public health resources becoming slim, everyone is struggling.

Here are ways you can support those in need right in your hometown.

1. Check on These Individuals

Call or text your high-risk neighbors, whether they are elderly or sick. Ask if they’re okay, and in need of items like groceries, toiletries, and prescription pick-ups. To be extra cautious, drop items off at the door to keep your neighbors safe.

2. Donate These Kinds of Supplies

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are quickly running short on protective gear like masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. If you’re stocked up on medical equipment from before or to prepare for the pandemic, or worked somewhere like a nail salon that has these kinds of supplies on hand, consider donating them to medical workers on the frontline.

3. Donate Blood

Blood donation is always needed, especially in times of crisis. With blood donation events and drives canceled due to the spread of COVID-19, the American Red Cross has a severe blood shortage. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “You can still go out and give blood. We’re worried about potential blood shortages in the future. Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement.”

If you are healthy and able to donate blood, make an appointment here, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a local donation site.

4. Support Organizations Near You

Nonprofits across the globe have canceled fundraising events, but are still trying to meet the increasing needs of vulnerable populations brought on by the coronavirus. Reach out to local nonprofits and churches, and see how you may be able to use your skills to support them virtually.

You would be surprised by the range of talents that nonprofits can use right now. Some needed tasks may include:

  • Research
  • Writing and editing
  • Email marketing and social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Fundraising calls and letters
  • Data entry
  • Translating
  • Book-keeping
  • Legal advice

5. Say Thank You

Although being stuck at home is a huge challenge, frontline workers are putting their health at risk every day during the coronavirus pandemic. If you know a doctor, nurse, or healthcare worker, consider sending them $15 for coffee or a meal, through an app like Venmo or PayPal. Or, send food delivery to healthcare facilities. Even a simple thank-you email or text will go a long way.

6. Take Time for Take-Out

The restaurant industry is taking a huge hit right now. While sit-down service is not available, many restaurants are still delivering or offering curbside drop-off. Support your favorite restaurants by ordering meals and treats for take-out and delivery. Or,  gift food delivery to families and people in greater need right now.

7. Shop Local

In addition to restaurants, just about every storefront business has been and will continue to be significantly affected by COVID-19. You can support them by being intentional about shopping online from local stores instead of global e-commerce markets like Amazon. Consider purchasing gift cards from small businesses that you can use later while keeping them afloat now.

8. Take Home a Furry Friend

Don’t forget about how the coronavirus is affecting our furry community members. Not only are many animal shelters being shut down, a surge of pets in need may arise from those who are sick or financially unable to care for their animals. If social isolation has you both lonely and given you more time to adopt or foster, now is the time to give a pet a new home.

We can all do our part to support one another in getting through this incredibly difficult time. If you have the resources, donating money to organizations responding to COVID-19 will have a huge impact. Consider giving to one of these organizations on the frontline.

Is your nonprofit looking to bring on more volunteers at this time? Read our post on how to recruit volunteers from start to finish and how to create a solid volunteer engagement strategy, or comment below if you have other virtual volunteering ideas.

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