We hope you all are staying healthy in your homes doing your part in flattening the curve against the spread of COVID-19. Depending on where you are, you likely have a few more weeks of home office before businesses start opening up. We’re so grateful to be part of a community of volunteers willing to give their assistance whenever needed. Sites like Now This, Benzinga, The Boston Globe, and Apartment Therapy, have included us in lists of how to help out the community, so now to spread the microvolunteering buzz, here are nine organizations and sites in need of virtual volunteers like you.
Around 30 million students across the United States struggle to read due to dyslexia or another learning difference. This is where Learning Ally comes in, providing access to educational audiobooks to encourage students to keep up with their studies. Nearly half a million students have benefitted from this service so far, and the group is always looking for new volunteers. Volunteers can help narrate audiobooks or be involved in listening and quality assurance.
For those wanting to participate in large-scale research projects without any former qualifications, Zooniverse is the perfect microvolunteering platform. Volunteers can assist researchers across the spectrum of academic fields to collect and sort through data, without any formal education or training. The website hosts a swath of possible research projects, from environmental to health-related studies. Many of the campaigns go on to be published academic journals, and there is a wealth of possible campaigns to take part in.
We have so many channels for communication these days. It seems like we're always connected, yet somehow it has become even more difficult to connect with someone on an emotional level. 7 Cups is trying to change that, by connecting emotionally stressed individuals with volunteers ready to listen. Volunteers are trained to provide support without judgment or advice-giving and taught to actively listen to people needing someone there for them. This way, 7 Cups can lend an ear to those who feel lonely and lost in their problems during social isolation.
Apply as a translator to support education across the world without lingual boundaries. Volunteers can apply as translators or have an organizational impact on the non-profit by being project managers or graphic designers. The organization translates over ten million documents a year, usually focussing on advocacy and crisis response documents to provide to first responders in rural locations.
Volunteers can apply for projects they already have expertise in using Catchafire. Through an easy application and quick interview, volunteers can be "matched" with organizations where they can lend their experienced advice. Catchafire was designed with remote work in mind, so it's perfect for those wishing to help out while social distancing measures are in place.
Amnesty International has a ton of volunteers that work on the ground as well as on their laptops. To help one of the largest advocacy and human rights movements from your couch, one simply needs to apply to be a decoder. Volunteers lend their time to help sift through data, documents, and information to help find and properly accuse those committing human rights violations.
The elderly are heavily impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, and they are in more need of help than ever from healthy volunteers. Beyond going out and getting groceries for an elderly neighbor, volunteers can remotely lend a helping hand to AARP. One can search for remote volunteering opportunities on their website, and find an opportunity that matches their set of skills. For volunteers in the mood to sort through data, join as a Digital Fraud Fighter. Or join as a Family Helpline Volunteer to support family members stressed and in need of guidance. There are countless ways to help the AARP from home.
For the readers and information finders out there wishing to expand the internet's collection of knowledge, Project Gutenberg is looking for help. The database is a collection of books where U.S. copyright has expired, and thus can be added legally to the internet for free. Volunteers can proofread e-Books, find possible future paperback books that can be added to the database, and burn CDs for those without internet access. There's a wide variety of topics and books published on the database available in many languages, and the database is always expanding.
Help break the loneliness of isolation for the elderly by sending them a thoughtful handwritten letter. Simply write a letter for Love for the Elderly, and the non-profit organization will distribute them to nursing homes in need of a bit of socialization in these times. Sitting down to write a letter can be a good way to take a break while brightening someone's day.
It seems that for many of us, there will be a few more weeks of staying indoors, looking for ways to beneficially occupy our time. In between binge-watching shows and doing some remote work, helping out from our homes is a great way to lend a hand in these uncertain times. A little bit of time can create a huge difference.