In a place as big as the world, there’s always a cause, somewhere, that could use our help. Governments and state-run bodies work hard to provide help where needed. Still, these organizations are often shorthanded and underfunded when it comes to matters of social welfare, thus the need for volunteers.
Helping others is at the center of almost all volunteering; however, there are some side benefits to it as well. It is a good way to learn new skills, make connections, and gain experience.
What is Micro-volunteering?
Many of us want to help but lead very busy lives. Jobs, studies, and responsibilities make it far too difficult to take care of ourselves, much less help others. On the other hand, many individuals do not have the resources to make donations or do fundraising even if they had the time. The solution to this problem is micro-volunteering: Making small contributions to a larger project.
The internet has made it possible for potential donors and organizers to coordinate with one another online. Each of them can do what little they can, which collectively amounts to a lot. For example, a botanist might need data regarding a certain common plant. You can help simply by observing if you have that plant in your yard, how much of it has grown there, and at what time of the year it usually spreads. Simple, easy, and doable from home!
Methods by Which You Can Volunteer
There are no fixed right or wrong ways to go about community service. However, some ways may be more convenient for you than others. Therefore, it is wise to first inform yourself about the basics of volunteering and then find the field where you can contribute the most.
Physical or Hands-On Volunteering
Although it seems that volunteering physically demands you to be in an office or on-field that is not entirely true. The following are some ways you can help others on a local level.
1. Make Supplies
You can make items of daily use if you are into arts and crafts. For example, stay-at-home knitters can make Christmas gifts for the needy – mittens, sweaters, scarves, and all! Making warm food and sending it around is a nice way to ensure that the underprivileged get good nutrition.
2. Take Care of the Local Environment
Going to eco-summits is usually not possible for most of us. So, why not start making a change locally? Keeping your yard well-maintained and tidy will do wonders in terms of aesthetics and sustainability.
3. Check on Your Neighbors
In every neighborhood, there are a few residents who can benefit from your help. Most commonly elderly citizens and isolated people with extreme social anxiety fall in this category. You can help them by reincorporating them into the community. If they are aged, you can assist them with their regular health checkups.
4. Make Small Donations
Not all of us are millionaire philanthropists, nor do we have to be! We can donate a lot of things besides money. Old clothes, toys, tools, appliances, and other household items that we no longer need can be given to those who do.
5. Encourage Kids to Volunteer
Children are the future. Encouraging the attributes of kindness and sympathy in them early on is always good. You can have your kids accompany you while you volunteer. We are not telling you to enroll them in a nonprofit or anything, only to do small things. For instance, ask them to collect the litter on the street in a bag or build a bird feeder.
Virtual or Online Volunteering
Another way to volunteer from home is to go online and render your services there. Some of the things you can do are as follows:
1. Spread Awareness
If you have a strong social media presence, you can use your popularity to inform people about the causes you care about. You can make the masses aware of the urgency of climate change, infantile malnourishment, tolerance toward minorities, etc.
2. Raise Money
Even if you have little money to donate, you can organize online fundraisers to accrue the resources needed for your community service endeavors. The sum can also be submitted to an NGO or organization that the donors trust.
3. Provide Relief to War Refugees
Although we live in relatively peaceful times, certain places in the world are still conflict-stricken. The precarious situation in their nations forces many citizens to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere. Gathering supplies and delivering them to relief camps can help alleviate their distress.
4. Tutor and Educate
If you have experience in the education sector or are just passionate about teaching, tutoring young kids is a good way to volunteer. We are sure that their parents would appreciate the help, especially during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, you can even tutor adults for their GED tests or foreigners for their English language exams.
5. Become a Friend
An unconventional way to contribute to the community is by strengthening the bonds between its members. You can become someone’s pen pal or phone buddy. This could help others feel less lonely and heard.
Many platforms let you come forward and make a change. UN Online Volunteering, Amnesty Decoders, Smithsonian Digital Volunteers, Volunteer March, Crisis Text Hotline, and Bookshare – all of them are excellent places, rather opportunities, to volunteer. It is now up to you to decide which way to go. We wish you the best of luck!