Many teenagers can’t go to school. They can’t volunteer at their local food bank or help out at the pet shelter around the block. As many teenagers find themselves bored at home, many people have discovered a new way to get involved: virtual volunteering.
While virtual volunteering has been around for a while, many people haven’t taken the opportunity to take advantage of it. Virtual volunteering has recently become a prominent way of giving back to your community due to the coronavirus pandemic, whether it impacts the life of a lonely senior or helps a child who is falling behind in schoolwork.
For the summer of 2020, I told myself that it was going to be the “Summer of Service”. I was going to reach out, make a difference in my community and help everyone make the world a better place. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic hit and I found myself looking for new ways to give back to the community.
I found many ways to volunteer virtually. Even though I was stuck at home, I soon discovered that I could help out my local community. Through my local volunteer center, I discovered that I could make digital cards via Canva for seniors. The cards would be printed out and distributed to people living across my county. This volunteer opportunity helped me realize my passion for designing. Previously, I had always thought of myself as an awful designer, but I discovered that Canva allowed me to create beautiful, yet simple designs that didn’t blind everyone.
Note: The following websites are not sponsored by Teenagers With Experience. I volunteered with Zooniverse and the Kids Circle Foundation. I found volunteering opportunities through VolunteerMatch.
Another way to find virtual volunteering opportunities is through VolunteerMatch. VolunteerMatch provides you with different volunteering opportunities. For example, in July 2020, my sister found Teenagers With Experience on VolunteerMatch. Through Teenagers With Experience, I have discovered my passion for writing and I found a great community of open-minded people.
VolunteerMatch also helped me find other non-profit organizations. For example, I found The Kids Circle Foundation. At the Kids’ Circle Foundation, I created slideshows that served as resources for struggling students. Although I left the organization in September, it was a great opportunity to serve with fellow high schoolers from across the globe.
VolunteerMatch isn’t the only way to get service hours. If you are interested in pursuing science-related fields, Zooniverse is a great way to get started. Zooniverse has many science programs, mainly focused on biology-related fields. Zooniverse also has service opportunities related to non-scientific fields, such as Criminal Characters, which explores the transcripts of Australian criminals.
With virtual volunteering, the opportunities are endless. Although some people may think that colleges look down on virtual volunteering, virtual volunteering requires different skill sets compared to in-person volunteering. Virtual volunteering can help you improve your skills, whether it's typing or writing. Virtual volunteering can also help you meet new people from across the globe. Both virtual volunteering and in-person volunteering are valuable on college applications. Volunteering reveals an applicant’s commitment and willingness to serve in their communities. In fact, virtual volunteering reveals that you are willing to serve, regardless of the hardships you have faced during the pandemic.
Do you think virtual volunteering is a great way to serve? What websites have you used to find virtual volunteering opportunities?
Let me know in the comments below!