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Volunteering often conjures up images of people planting a garden, painting a mural, or cleaning up a local park. As real as these scenarios are, there’s much more that can be done to help. Nowadays, people can engage in online volunteer opportunities from the comfort of their homes.
Whatever your area of expertise is, chances are you’ll find virtual volunteer opportunities. Connect online and volunteer in California with these incredible organizations—your virtual volunteering efforts will definitely be appreciated.
How to start volunteering virtually
If spending too much time indoors has you feeling restless, then it’s the perfect time to start thinking about virtual community service. Whether you’re facing a state-imposed quarantine or just being extra cautious with social interactions, remote volunteering is an option to keep in mind (take your laptop to the park, it’s time to give back to society). Even when it comes to wanting to help, it’s easy to get lost in the many options available online.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for those looking for ways to volunteer virtually:
- Find your niche. Think about what you can offer to your community through remote volunteering. You’ll be surprised just how many skills are of help to nonprofits and charities
- Think about your assets. Do you possess a talent that is in high demand but low supply? Consider practicing it by helping others
- Keep passion in mind. You’re bound to find an organization suited for your skills. When you come across a virtual volunteer opportunity in a field you’re passionate about, you’ll enjoy helping out more.
Online volunteering for human rights
Food Oasis L.A.
Food Oasis L.A. believes that having enough food is a basic human right. Unfortunately, many Angelenos don’t have that right. Sign up via L.A. Works to take on the responsibility of finding resources to help the organization.
This virtual volunteer opportunity starts off with online training where you learn about food insecurity and how to collect the needed information. After that, you and other volunteers spend an hour doing independent research. This involves helping hungry people find food by getting in touch with local soup kitchens and food pantries.
Be My Eyes
The San Francisco-based Be My Eyes is an app you should sign up for right now. Designed to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people, the app offers online volunteer work that anyone can be a part of. Be My Eyes connects visually impaired individuals with sighted volunteers from all over the world through a live video call.
All you have to do is download the app, sign up, select what languages you speak, and turn your notifications on. You’ll get a call at any given time. This virtual community service idea makes volunteering extra accessible for everyone involved.
Online volunteer opportunities that help seniors
Alzheimer’s San Diego
Do you pride yourself on being a good listener? Lead a Caregiver Support Group with Alzheimer’s San Diego. You’ll help provide much-needed emotional support, coping skills, and resources to dedicated caregivers. Anyone with professional or personal knowledge about Alzheimer’s disease can be qualified for this virtual service opportunity.
If you’ve been a caregiver for a loved one with the disease, you’re also welcome to sign up through VolunteerMatch to make a change. Check out the other programs on their website to help the organization with other virtual volunteer opportunities.
Sourcewise-Community Resource Solutions
A few hours of your time can make a big difference in a homebound senior citizen’s life. The Santa Clara-based Sourcewise Community Resource Solutions is looking for volunteers who’d like to bring joy and companionship to homebound seniors’ lives.
Join the Ambassador’s Program and positively impact fellow community members’ lives by helping prevent social isolation and loneliness. These are two very real and prevalent issues affecting seniors today due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Sign up for the virtual volunteering opportunity through VolunteerMatch. Who knows? You might make friends along the way.
Monterey Bay RSVP
The mission of Monterey Bay RSVP is to provide meaningful volunteer opportunities that enrich the lives of senior citizens in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito. Volunteers choose where and how often they want to serve with commitments up to 40 hours per week.
Current vacancies available through VolunteerMatch are both offline and virtual volunteer opportunities. Choose an opening that matches your skills and interests, and help senior citizens in your community live more comfortably.
Virtual community service opportunities that help children
If you enjoy reading, this is the perfect virtual volunteering opportunity for you. Words Alive is a San Diego-based company facilitating book clubs for at-risk populations. Signing up for the Page Turners remote volunteering opportunity—you’ll read and review titles from the organization's recommendation list to determine whether what you read is a good match for the program.
When reading, make sure your book is contemporary, diverse, relevant, and engaging. These are all qualities Word Alive values for their programs. Happy volunteering.
Joseph Learning Lab
Joseph Learning Lab works hard to close the learning gap and reduce the dropout rate in children. Having served the community since 1995, this inspiring education outreach organization provides tutoring services for at-risk children. Sign up through L.A. Works and help underserved kids online through core courses such as reading and math.
Volunteers tutor students from grade one to high school. They help with homework, as well as improve their confidence, grades, and test scores. The online volunteer work takes place over Google Classroom/Meet for 90 minutes, two to three days a week. Upon getting accepted, orientation and training is provided by the nonprofit.
Virtual community service ideas for animal lovers
The Animal Pad
The Animal Pad is a non-profit dog rescue center with the goal of saving dogs from high kill shelters in Mexico. Make a change with the organization through several virtual volunteering opportunities available through VolunteerMatch. Complete your virtual community service by becoming a grant writer, home checker, e-commerce manager, or donations guru.
If those online volunteer opportunities don’t sound like matches, sign up for the organization’s TAPACT program. This initiative aims to end the suffering, abuse, and exploitation of dogs through information, education, and advocacy. Anyone who loves dogs can sign up and help make the world a better place.
Ready to be a part of a team of passionate activists demanding change? Spend a few minutes of your time volunteering every week with Animal Equality. Your remote volunteering only requires taking quick and easy actions such as sending emails and posting on social media. In the grand scheme of things, these actions make a big difference for the millions of animals currently suffering on farms.
Sign up by filling out a quick form, cross out your skills and interests, and you're good to go. Being an animal protector has never been so easy.
Virtual medical volunteer opportunities
National Alliance on Mental Illness Long Beach
This virtual medical volunteer opportunity is all about destigmatizing mental health. The National Alliance on Mental Illness Long Beach (NAMI) has teamed up with VolunteerMatch to offer service opportunities in a variety of fields. Check out the vacancies and apply to the positions you’d excel at. You get the chance to become a peer-to-peer instructor, helpline volunteer, social media content manager, and more. Your volunteering will help raise awareness on mental health conditions and make your community safer for everyone involved.
Are you passionate about helping your community during COVID-19? This virtual service project needs your help. Join VaccinateCA and help verify vaccine availability and eligibility information all across the Golden State. The organization provides training, a script, and a community of fellow phone bankers to help get volunteers started. Follow this link to fill out the short application and make California safer through your online volunteer work.
Additional ways to volunteer virtually
As entire workforces are confined to their homes and uncertainty swirls around us, the need for online volunteering is higher than ever. Spread love and joy through volunteering in your community in whatever way you’d like.
Meaningful and impact-driven virtual volunteering opportunities are constantly renewed. Make note of the websites and organizations you’re passionate about and follow their regular updates. You’ll find virtual community service ideas that fit your schedule and interests. In the long run, you’ll be a part of a larger community of passionate Californians striving to make the state better for all.
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