5 Ways to Volunteer & Give Back, Even in the Age of COVID-19

5 Ways to Volunteer & Give Back, Even in the Age of COVID-19

If you’re someone who likes to go out and volunteer, it has probably been hard for you to cope with all of the new pandemic life restrictions. Honestly, if you’re extroverted at all or sick of being at home, it’s probably getting hard to cope with how limited your social interactions are too.

Even though it might be more difficult (or just not feasible!) to go out and interact with people in the ways that you’re used to, I did some digging and figured out that there are a surprising number of ways that you can volunteer from home!

So, if you’re itching to help (or bored out of your mind and need a worthy cause to occupy your time), here are five things that you can do to volunteer from home.

If you’re itching to help (or bored out of your mind), here are five things that you can do to volunteer from home.

 

1. Check With Your Local Schools

Despite the fact that schools haven’t been operating normally for quite awhile now, the faculty have been working harder than ever. Most schools are still offering daily meal programs, and many are doing their best to provide enrichment and assistance for their communities even though they can’t have in-person classes.

Even under normal circumstances, schools almost always need volunteers for something. If anything, this pandemic has just made that even more true.

 

ways to volunteer

 

If you have expertise in a particular subject, you can volunteer as an online tutor. I love tutoring kids, and I know the teachers appreciate the extra help. If you don’t feel confident in tutoring, you can always check with your local school to see if they need help with things like administrative work, setting up classrooms for safe reopening, or getting in touch with parents and students to pass along important info. You can even see if your local school or library is doing virtual storytimes!

 

2. Foster a Shelter Animal

Animal shelters have been hit especially hard by the stay-at-home orders. People who would normally volunteer to care for the animals no longer feel safe doing so, and it leaves a lot of shelters crowded with lonely pets.

 

Unsplash/Brina Blum

 

If you have the ability, why not apply to become a pet foster? Having a sweet animal around can help you to feel happier and less lonely, and it gives the animal a much better quality of life too. It also eases the burden on the shelter staff, so it’s a win all around.

(I could never be a foster fur mom. I would keep ALL of them.)

 

3. Donate Blood

I know that you might feel a little weird about going out to donate blood, but the Red Cross knows that too, and they’re going WAY above and beyond with their health and safety measures to make sure that giving blood is as safe and simple as possible.

 

 

If you’re like me and usually can’t donate blood for one reason or another, you can still volunteer to help with blood drives! They have a serious need for “Health Ambassadors” (the people who check your temp, answer questions, and help make sure everything goes smoothly) and people who can transport blood to the local hospitals.

I’ve done the Health Ambassador thing a couple of times, and it’s not hard at all! Definitely worth looking into if you need a good reason to get out of the house for a few hours and interact with other humans.

 

4. Send Letters to the Lonely

Snail mail is making a comeback! Sending letters and packages in the mail is an extremely low-risk activity (the virus can’t really survive on letters or packages according to the CDC), and it’s super fun to do by yourself or with your fam.

 

 

You can obviously write to friends and family as a way to stay in touch, but did you know that there are entire volunteer projects dedicated to writing letters to strangers, too? Projects like Love For the Elderly and Letters Against Isolation allow you to send thoughtful and creative postcards, letters, or drawings to people who are especially isolated or without family. Most of these projects also allow you to pay for postage for other letters too, if letter writing isn’t your thing.

I haven’t done this one yet, but I’m definitely going to!

 

5. Look Through Online Volunteer Postings

A quick Google search for online volunteer opportunities actually turns up a lot more results than I expected. There are a number of sites that post job board-style listings for volunteer positions, and many are specifically tailored to be remote so that you can stay safely at home.

 

Unsplash/Thought Catalog

 

One of the best sites I found was VolunteerMatch.org, so that’s a good place to start if you’re interested!

 

Stay Safe While You Give Back

We all have a lot more time on our hands right now, and there’s only so much Netflix one person can watch in a day. If you’re looking for ways to fill the time that don’t involve cleaning, cooking, or mindless screen watching, why not volunteer from home?

Do you guys have any other suggestions for ways to give back during quarantine? Drop them in the comments!

 

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