As modern Americans, we often struggle with our natural desire to do good in the world and the stark reality that we just don’t have the time. Between going to work and raising kids, it often feels like a half-hour of free time is the most we can expect out of a day. This means that, no matter how much we’d like to volunteer at the local soup kitchen or help out at an animal shelter, it simply isn’t a realistic option. Luckily for those of us in this situation, there is still a way to help out. Technology offers us the chance to volunteer right from our own homes. By engaging in virtual volunteering, you can make use of whatever time you have to make the world a better place and reap all the mental health benefits of counting yourself a caring member of the global community.
From huge international charities to local food dispensaries, there are many non-profit organizations that could use whatever help you can provide from home. If you want to go macro with your contribution, check out the virtual volunteer program at the United Nations, which can put you in contact with smaller programs around the world. Your work for the UN can include anything from advocacy to translation.
With so many options out there, you can seek out the programs that seem perfect for you. If you are interested in disaster relief, look for opportunities with the Red Cross, which can often use help with social media updates and internet discussions during an emergency. If you are passionate about learning, reach out to the Smithsonian Institute and see if you can assist with documents or online entries.
If you have a personal story that ties you to some movement or cause, contact a relevant organization to see if they can use you for advocacy. Many groups need first-hand accounts of how their work impacts the community. If you are willing to share it, your story can be a powerful tool.
Many advocacy campaigns are also looking for people to contact politicians or government officials. If you are passionate about some issues, this is a great way to help out.