Perhaps your working from home days are behind you. Perhaps you’ve already proudly summited that spring reading stack, wiped your Netflix ‘My List’ clean and had a falling out with the trusty home toolbox. Or maybe, you’re just looking for a practical way to lend your time, skills and attention to a cause that really needs you.
Winston Churchill once said: ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ So, if you’re feeling this pull to give, and you consider yourself a self-driven individual – with a trusty WiFi connection! – read on for a list of ways you can make a difference.
Run (or walk) 5km
If being home has meant you’ve spent inordinate amounts of time on social media, you might have noticed a few of your followers posting about ‘Run For Heroes’. You know, the ‘Run 5, Donate 5, Nominate 5’ selfies where everyone is sweatily posing and holding up five fingers.
Consider ‘Run For Heroes’ a virtual fun run. Those nominated simply run 5km, donate £5 to the NHS, and then nominate five others to follow in their footsteps by tagging them.
Run For Heroes has already raised more than £2.3 million of its £3.5 million target. So, if you consider yourself a bit of a runner – or if you’d prefer to stretch it out into a walk – then take up this challenge as part of your daily exercise and help contribute to the country’s valued key workers.
This option is fantastic for those who are looking to ease themselves into contributing to a fantastic cause without having to make a concrete commitment.
Join the United Nations
The United Nations has 12,000 people actively engaged in online volunteering across 187 countries. And you could be one of them.
The main focus of the virtual volunteer programme is to address sustainable development challenges throughout the world.
‘The cohesion, encouragement and inspiration of the team of volunteers have been immense. My online collaboration is easily on par with that of a face-to-face setting,’ said online volunteer and lawyer Kirthi Jayakumar.
Areas that require your help include teaching, writing, administration, translation, design, COVID-19 response and more. To explore specific opportunities you can currently virtually volunteer for, check out onlinevolunteering.org/en/opportunities.
Lend your flair for language
During the pandemic, people across the world require critical information to help them make the right decisions for their health and wellbeing. To meet this demand, Translators Without Borders is a non-profit organisation working to translate critical information into more than 20 different languages.
The organisation currently requires support in the following languages:
- Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
- Tagalog (Filipino)
- Bahasa Indonesian
- Myanmar (Burmese)
As you can see, Translators Without Borders are currently focusing on Asian languages, however, they’re open to speaking with volunteers fluent in other languages. If you’d like to volunteer from home and use your language skills to help people access vital health-related information, head to Translators Without Borders website.
An eye for an eye
Champion boxer Muhammad Ali said: ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.’ And he’s right. Of course, there’s literal rent to pay, but it’s nice to be reminded that our contribution to society extends far beyond the financial and material.
If you love your apps, you’ll appreciate this next virtual volunteering idea. Be My Eyes is a free app that helps improve the accessibility of the world for people with vision impairment. This is done by simply pairing blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers through video chat.
It’s so easy to get involved in this virtual assistance programme that there are currently 3,694,442 volunteers giving up their valuable time. Join the community today, and help 209,862 people with vision impairment issues. Download the app for iOS or Android.
Combat the loneliness epidemic
While lockdown has brought questions of isolation and loneliness to the fore, these matters have always been prevalent, particularly in the UK. If its any indication of the attention this issue deserves, just two years ago the UK government appointed an official Minister for Loneliness.
If you’d like to make a difference in the life of an isolated person, check out Age UK’s Call in Time service. Call in Time is a free telephone friendship service for people aged 60 plus.
Volunteers can sign up to form a connection with someone in this demographic, and simply have a weekly 30-minute catch-up over the phone. You won’t even need to leave the house. The best part is, the Call in Time team will pair you with someone who has similar interests to you, so it will be a mutually beneficial volunteering opportunity.
We wish you all the best of luck with your volunteering journey! Feel free to share with us what you get up to over the next few months.