“Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” – Plato
This hasn’t been the greatest year for us, our community, our nation, or the world. We are doing our best to deal with this pandemic and support one another through these difficult and trying times. Volunteering has taken a real hit. It has been reported that 93% of nonprofits have had heavy reductions in their volunteers. Eighty-five percent of volunteers are afraid of getting ill or exposing others. Fifty percent of volunteers still want to help in person, and 45% of volunteers want to help virtually according to Sterling Volunteers. Many nonprofits are actively seeking virtual volunteers and would be grateful for your help and generosity.
Virtual volunteering opportunities are available on a national and global level. The best parts of virtual volunteering are that there is no travel involved, you can remain in the comfort of your own home, and stay in your pajamas! Virtual volunteering allows you to choose how you want to help based on your skill set or on the skills you hope to gain. It allows for more flexibility in that it makes no difference if you are a night owl or an early riser. With virtual volunteering, you can work when it is convenient for you. You have a chance to help in countries that you have always wanted to visit or learn more about, as well as make global connections. Some of these opportunities include tutoring, transcribing documents and books, writing letters to those in need, research, art and design, identifying endangered animals, assisting with the Crisis Text Line, outreach and advocacy, and giving sight to those with blindness or low vision through www.bemyeyes.com.
Volunteering benefits the volunteer as well! According to Help Guide, just two-to-three hours of volunteering per week has shown to have lasting effects. Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. It helps to combat depression by leading you to a strong support system with regular contacts. As a volunteer, you may feel happy. Help Guide says “As human beings are hard-wired to give to each other. The more we give, the happier we feel.” Volunteering increases self-confidence by providing a natural sense of accomplishment, pride, and identity as well as providing a sense of purpose.
Please remember to stay home and stay safe. There are plenty of opportunities out there to do good virtually! For even more volunteering possibilities, visit onlinevolunteering.org, volunteermatch.org, or volunteer.gov.