When COVID-19 changed all of our lives in March, we had no idea what was ahead. We didn’t know how long we would be isolated from the outside world, and we didn’t know what would lie ahead. When the pandemic worsened, many of our plans came into question, for me specifically: volunteer opportunities for community service.
I started checking for new remote programs or opportunities that caught my eye, and I came across some fantastic opportunities that you can look into as well!
What should you consider when looking for companies to volunteer for?
Keep in mind your major and career choice when choosing where you want to work and what you want to do to volunteer. For example, if you’re going to be in the medical field, consider volunteering at a hospital to help with the coronavirus, or if you want to be a teacher, look at tutoring opportunities for a school near you. Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in your field while helping your community in the process. It also lets colleges know that you have been interested in what you want to study, so it shows you have experience!
Here are a few volunteer opportunities that may help you in your search:
The Smithsonian Institution
On the Smithsonian Institution website, you can find digital remote volunteer opportunities such as their Transcription Center, where you can transcribe essential documents to make them accessible to the general public. They also have their Wikipedian Volunteer Program, which is a program that allows you to help the Smithsonian update their Wikipedia pages for volunteer hours as well! The Smithsonian’s volunteer opportunities are a great way to learn more about the history and will also help you gain experience in writing and translating. This would be useful for careers in the language and history fields.
Smithsonian Institution, Digital Volunteer Website
United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations offers a variety of opportunities to participate in, such as art and design opportunities, research and translating. Their program is an amazing way to gain hours, as well as help out countries and communities in need! The UN is determined to help the world in times of crisis, so volunteering with them will also assist communities in the world that need help the most.
UN Volunteers Website
Translators Without Borders
This program translates medical texts, responses, and other essential documents that may need translating. If you are fluent in another language, this may be an excellent opportunity for you to show that you are multilingual! This program does not only have translating opportunities, but they also have graphic designers, fundraising volunteers, and projects that volunteers can also participate in.
Translators Without Borders Website
American Red Cross
The Red Cross offers remote volunteer opportunities assisting the Social Engagement team, where one will monitor social media for needed disaster relief, and promote resources and support where needed. All one needs to contribute is a social media account, an email account, and social media experience! It is a time commitment, however, but still a great way to gain community-service hours online, as well as help communities in need.
American Red Cross Website
Points of Light
Points of Light is a non-profit organization founded by Former President George H.W. Bush that helps engage people and resources to resolve social issues through community service. They offer a variety of virtual volunteer opportunities ranging anywhere from youth mentoring, grant writing, and blog writing. There are also specific issues to volunteer for, such as Women’s Rights and Refugees.
Points of Light Website
Bookshare is an online library of books for people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy or visual impairments. You can volunteer with them by helping add books to their library. If you have a scanner and OCR software, you can scan books that the website may not have, so you can add more books for people to read. You can also proofread and clean up files that other volunteers scanned, if you don’t have a scanner. This opportunity gives experience to English majors, as you are helping others who have trouble reading by putting out virtual copies!
CHD Living is an assisted living facility chain in the United Kingdom. Through their website, you can volunteer globally through their “Adopt a Grandparent” program, which allows you to befriend one of their elderly citizens by having virtual calls with them, sending pen-pal letters, and sharing inter-generational stories. You can help the elderly lift their spirits during these hard times, and you can make a friend across the world in the process.
CHD Living Website
No matter which opportunity you pick, it is always great to help your community, especially now. You gain positive memories and experiences, and it makes you feel good knowing that you are helping others that need it most! Everyone can make a positive impact in the world. Good luck!