If you want to help others and make the world a better place, you can still do so without leaving home. Many volunteer opportunities only require a computer or phone. Some only need an hour a week, others more. Some are short term, some are long term. Many are flexible and ready to work with your schedule.
We have rounded up four websites that offer an amazing variety, from mentoring, fundraising, writing to social justice, with a few examples each.
Basics of volunteering
With so many options, how can you choose? Take these factors into account:
- What do you like?
- What skills can you offer?
- How much time can you give
Seniors are the volunteer type
“Seniors are among the most dedicated volunteers in our society who have the time and experience to interact in a way that keeps them engaged and active. One in three volunteers is 55 or older, says the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, ”said Tyler Butler, who, as CEO of 11Eleven Consulting, created and led global fundraising programs for Fortune 500 companies. “Virtual volunteering means these efforts can be from your home or anywhere while protecting against unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.”
Points of light
Founded by President George HW Bush, it is the largest voluntary service in the world, with affiliates in 200 cities in 37 countries. Search over 40 categories from mental health to immigration / refugees to marketing and by your zip code. Here are some ideas:
- History and garden lovers can help the Smithsonian Institution make its collections more accessible by transcribing historical documents or tagging images of American gardens by plant type in their database.
- Help Amnesty International investigate human rights abuses by reviewing information and photos.
- Help research cold cases of missing and unidentified people for the Doe network.
This has a huge database of over a million virtual volunteer lists from over 117,000 nonprofits. Search 29 categories, from the largest (community, kids / teens, and education / literacy) to disaster relief, art, and animals.
- You can create funny dog and cat videos on YouTube for https: //bestfriends.orgBest Friends Animal Society.
- Do you have a legal background? Lawyers can review content online for Illinois Legal Aid.
- Retired Entrepreneur? There are many ways to serve small business owners in sales and marketing, business planning, and product development.
Create the good
AARP, the advocacy group and membership group for people over 50, operates this database of volunteer opportunities for the 50+ age group. (Some are for different AARP branches.) Some of the possibilities:
- Provide high school students in low-income families with career advice in areas from accounting to crafts to artisans by email for CareerVillage.
- Raise awareness of fraud, especially against the elderly, as identified by the AARP National Fraud Team.
- Create audiobooks for blind or learning disabled students (you can read or be a “listener” providing feedback on the readers’ speech quality and pronunciation).
United Nations volunteers
This group lists peace and development organizations around the world – they need writing, editing, research, or project management skills to design at least an hour a week. You can:
- Research grant and funding sources for young social entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific.
- Brainstorm ideas on how to collect plastic waste in Cameroon.
- Write scholarships for the good of women and children in India.
Would you like to get more involved with Senior Planet? Click here to become a member or send an email to [email protected]
Photo: Tim Marshall for Unsplash