Virtual volunteering has been on the rise for years, but this hands-off way of helping others is especially vital now. Check out these five quick, easy and impactful ways you can make a difference from the comfort of your own home.
1. Take your volunteer efforts online – The American Cancer Society wants you to be a virtual volunteer in a 3D event. You’re probably familiar with Relay For Life, the community-based fundraising event for ACS. Thousands of these events take place each year, all over the world.
But there’s also a virtual option. The cancer organization uses Second Life to host virtual relay events across the globe. According to ACS, team members walk 3D world laps, light virtual Luminaria, and make donations using digital currency. If online gaming is your thing, The Make a Wish Foundation also allows you to host your own charity stream to raise money for the organization.
2. Send a message (or even a virtual hug) to patients in need – With strict visitor restrictions in place, you can still brighten a patient’s day! Many hospitals and volunteer groups have set up ways to send virtual words of encouragement to patients receiving care. Check your local hospital’s website for seasonal or year-round programs that let you remind these folks they are not alone.
• Send a free online card to the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
• Send a free virtual hug to a cancer patient at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center
• Join Chemo Angels and support a “buddy” battling cancer
3. Replace your volunteer hours with a financial donation – Many organizations that typically rely on physical volunteers are in a difficult position as people are asked to stay home. Volunteers provide much of the cooking and cleaning at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country. Without those volunteers, they turn to monetary donations to help them feed residents and keep the house clean.
Find your local RMH Chapter and learn how you can help support these families facing incredibly difficult situations. You can also check out the Amazon Wishlist of your favorite nonprofit or charity and send them much-needed supplies without visiting a store.
4. Send a home-bound loved one a special gift while supporting cancer research – Organizations like Cookies for Kids’ Cancer have been forced to cancel or postpone major fundraising events. You can continue to support many of these organizations by ordering a gift online for a loved one (or yourself) to brighten their day and contribute to a wonderful cause. Who doesn’t need a batch of cookies right now?
5. Become a digital ambassador – While you’re already spending time on your phone or computer, why not share an experience you had with your favorite nonprofit? Follow the social media accounts for OneBlood, The American Heart Association, Be The Match, or any group that holds a special place in your heart.
Share posts, engage in conversations and help spread their messages to your followers. By sharing your own personal experiences, you can help show others just how important these organizations are.
There are countless ways you can make a difference in your community and even your world, all while safely at home. Find more virtual volunteer opportunities by visiting Points of Light, or checking with your favorite nonprofit.