As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) effects are felt throughout the world, we urge our readers to follow instructions from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).
During this pandemic, similarly to many other global pandemics, the most vulnerable people in our communities are feeling the biggest effect. Nonprofit organizations around the world are being pushed to the edge on resources as their usual volunteers and donors are occupied trying to keep themselves safe. But as you work from home, practice social distancing, and quarantine yourself for the next couple of weeks, there are many ways you can still create a big social impact.
Volunteering is not restricted to a physical gathering. Volunteering can be done from the comfort of our home. Here are some options:
1. Connect with people and offer help
If you are safe and sound, make sure to get in touch with your friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable such as the elderly. Isolation can be very depressing and hurting. You can make a phone call, send a text message or utilize one of the thousands of Softwares out there to get in touch with your loved ones.
Since educational institutions are closing across the United States and more and more people are starting to work from home, we need to make sure that we are still connected to one another. Keep up with your friends and offer to help them in this time of need.
2. Connect with your nonprofits!
If you’re reading this, there is a high chance that you have volunteered in your community before. The Coronavirus has had a really big negative impact on local nonprofits. Get in touch with your local nonprofits and offer to help virtually. Maybe they want you to make calls, gather donations, do some designs, create an event, or do something that you could help them online.
If all else fails, if you can afford to, make a donation to a nonprofit that provides a service you care about. While donations pour into large organizations (which is important), it is also important to support local nonprofits.
3. Use Online Volunteering Opportunities
- Tarjimly app – Tarjimly means “translate for me” and was founded in 2017 in response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the US Refugee & Travel Ban. Their mission is to improve the lives of refugees and the efficiency of humanitarian services by eliminating language barriers. Tarjimly has helped thousands of people so far and has 10,000+ translators!
- United Nations Volunteers – If you’re looking to take your online volunteering worldwide, this is the place to start. UNV connects you with organizations working for peace and development in need of skills like research, writing, art, and design. There are already over 12,000 volunteers from 187 countries lending their talents to organizations around the globe.
- Catchafire – This volunteer search tool is exclusively for online volunteer projects. Each one has a timeline that can range anywhere from an hour to a few weeks. So whether you have an afternoon or several, you can help not-for-profit with tasks like writing thank-you letters or editing photos.
- Translators Without Borders – For those fluent in more than one language, check out this nonprofit that combines language skills with humanitarian aid. Volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health and education.
- Crisis Text Line – Here’s a perfect example of technology being used for good. Become a volunteer to help the Crisis Text Line continue to offer free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. If you’re at least 18 and can commit to volunteering four hours each week, you can apply to be trained for free.
- Zooniverse – Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research that literally wouldn’t be possible (or practical) without the help of online volunteers. Spend as much or as little time as you’d like to identify endangered animals, classifying galaxy systems, or transcribing Shakespearean manuscripts.
4. Organize your own virtual volunteering opportunity or action-project with us.
IVolunteer International is also a great platform to start your own volunteering project. If you have an idea or a community-need that needs some sort of support, post a project to get more help. As long as it’s virtual and will not put any volunteers in danger during the Coronavirus outbreak, we will approve it.
IVolunteer International is a 501(c)3 tech-nonprofit registered in the United States with operations worldwide. Using a location-based mobile application, we mobilize volunteers to take action in their local communities. Our vision is creating 7-billion volunteers. We are an internationally recognized nonprofit organization and is also a Civil Society Associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. Visit our profiles on Guidestar, Greatnonprofits, and FastForward.