If you want to help others and improve the world, you can still, without leaving the house. Many volunteer opportunities require only a computer or a telephone. Some only need one hour a week, others more. Some are short-term, others long-term. Many are flexible, willing to work with your schedule.
We have put together four websites that offer an astonishing amount of choices, from mentorship, fundraising, writing to social justice, with a few examples from each.
The basics of volunteering
With so many options to choose from, how to choose? Think about these factors:
- What causes you?
- What skills can you offer
- How much time can you give?
- It̵7;s real volunteer work with real people; it is “virtual” only by name
Seniors are the type of volunteer
“Seniors are among the most dedicated volunteers in our community, with time and experience to share in ways that keep them engaged and active. One in three volunteers is 55 years or older, says the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, says Tyler Butler, who has created and led global programs to provide Fortune 500 companies with the CEO of 11Eleven Consulting. “Virtual volunteering means that these efforts can be done from home or anywhere, but still protect against unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.”
Founded by President George HW Bush, this is the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteering, with affiliates in 200 cities in 37 countries. Search in over 40 categories, from mental health, immigration / refugees to marketing and with your zip code. Here are some ideas:
- History and garden lovers can help the Smithsonian Institution make their collections more accessible by transcribing historical documents or tagging pictures of American gardens by plant type in their database.
- Assist in investigating human rights violations for Amnesty International by reviewing information and photographs.
- Help investigate cold cases of missing and unidentified people for the Doe Network.
This has a huge database with more than one million virtual volunteer lists from over 117,000 non-profit organizations. Search in 29 categories, from the largest (society, children / youth and education / literacy) to disaster relief, art and animals.
- You can create fun dog and cat videos on YouTube for https: //bestfriends.orgBest Friends Animal Society.
- Do you have a legal background? Lawyers can review online content for Illinois Legal Aid.
- Retired business owner? There are many opportunities to guide small business owners in sales and marketing, business planning and product development.
Create the good
AARP, the advocate and membership group for people over the age of 50, runs this database of volunteer opportunities for the age group 50+. (Some are for different AARP branches.) Some of the possibilities:
- Offer career advice to high school students in low-income families in the areas of accounting, crafts to artisans via email for CareerVillage.
- Raise awareness of fraud, especially those targeting the elderly, identified by AARP’s national fraud team.
- Create audiobooks for students who are blind or have learning difficulties (you can read or be a “listener” who provides feedback on readers’ voice quality and pronunciation).
This group lists peace and development organizations around the world – they need skills from writing, editing, research or project management to design at least one hour a week. You can:
- Research grants and funding sources for young social entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific.
- Brainstorm ideas for collecting plastic waste in Cameroon.
- Make a contribution to the welfare of women and children in India.
Do you want to be more involved in Senior Planet? Click here to become a member or send an email to [email protected]
Photo: Tim Marshall for Unsplash