In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many people are searching for ways to connect with their communities and help those in need through various volunteering efforts. Below are 10 simple ways you and your loved ones can help make a difference during this time (in no particular order).
- Smithsonian Digital Volunteer Program
The Smithsonian Digital Volunteer Program engages the public in making its collections more accessible. Digital volunteers transcribe historic documents and collection records to facilitate research and preserve these valuable assets for future generations.
- Career Village
Career Village is an online platform where students ask career questions that are answered by those working, or who have worked, in a particular field. All you need is a LinkedIn account to start helping students become better informed about the career decisions they are facing.
- Translators Without Borders
Translators Without Borders uses volunteers who want to translate texts into different languages for NGOs and nonprofits.
Catchafire uses their website to match professionals with nonprofits based on their skills, cause interest, and schedule availability. You’ll find tons of skills-based volunteering opportunities, many of which can be completed virtually.
- Project Linus
Make a handmade blanket for Project Linus benefitting seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0 to 18.
- Soldiers’ Angels
Soldiers’ Angels is collecting homemade masks for VA hospitals, surplus holiday candy, and other supplies for deployed service members, their families, and veterans in need. You can find guidelines and information about how to make masks and send care packages here.
Get the Kids Involved
Since a lot of us have kids at home during this time, here are some ideas for giving back that also engage their creativity and introduce new activities.
- Write a letter of thanks to a community hero.
Have your kids write a letter to a first responder, nurse, doctor, teacher, or other community leaders. This is always a nice way to recognize the hard work they do for all of us.
- Quiz your kids for a good cause.
Kids love playing computer games, and with freerice.com they can give back while they play. The site asks a variety of questions (English vocabulary is the best bet for kids); for every question you get right, 10 grains of rice are donated to the United Nations World Food Program. You can also create an account on the site so you can see the total amount you’ve contributed.
- Write a letter to the troops.
Kids can get artsy and practice writing, all while doing an act of community service. Men and women serving overseas in the armed forces love notes of thanks from folks back home. Encourage your kids to write “thank you” letters or draw colorful pictures. Organizations like A Million Thanks has helped kids send more than 7.6 million letters to our troops! On their website you will find details on where to send the notes, drop-off locations, and suggestions about what to write if kids are stumped.
For Communities Across the Country
All communities nationwide are facing unprecedented challenges. Here are general ways to help in any city or state.
- More ideas
Donate blood through the Red Cross.
Donate funds to your local food bank or nationally to Feeding America.
Support your favorite local restaurants, salons, and retailers by buying gift cards to be used later.