Online Community Service: 30+ Ways To Get Involved From Afar in 2022 and Beyond
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One thing the last year has shown us is that many jobs and activities can be done from the comfort of our own homes — including volunteering. Even if you can’t physically go somewhere to volunteer, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and donate your time to make a difference for organizations and causes that are meaningful to you.
In this guide, we highlight over 30 online community service opportunities you can sign up for, as well as additional tips for fostering community this year and beyond.
Health and Well-Being
If you’re interested in making a true impact on the health and well-being of others, these remote volunteer opportunities are for you. From providing emotional support to those in crisis to helping make the world more accessible to the visually impaired, the below online community service opportunities are sure to help someone in need.
Sidelines is a nonprofit organization that supports women who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies. As a volunteer, you’ll be matched with a soon-to-be mother and will offer your emotional support via phone or email during the remainder of their pregnancy. Most volunteers are those who have also experienced a complicated pregnancy, so they know firsthand how to support their peers.
2. Empower Work
Empower Work is a nonprofit text hotline that connects peer counselors with adults who are facing tough workplace situations. Their mission is to empower individuals to thrive in the workplace, increasing their economic and emotional well-being. As a volunteer peer counselor, you’ll be able to lift others up and make a difference in their lives and careers.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) is an anti-sexual violence organization that provides crisis counseling to victims and survivors. As a volunteer, you’ll receive crisis training and be responsible for providing virtual support to victims of sexual assault and their loved ones.
4. Be My Eyes
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with a mission to make the world more accessible for blind and visually impaired individuals. As a volunteer, you’ll provide visual assistance to these individuals via video chat, helping with things like reading instructions, checking expiration dates and distinguishing colors.
While some people may hesitate to pick up the phone and call a crisis hotline, IMAlive offers a live online crisis service through their instant messaging platform. As a volunteer, you will provide emotional support to those in crisis to help alleviate their anxiety by suggesting different coping mechanisms to help minimize the risk of self-harm or other dangerous behaviors. Crisis training is provided to all volunteers and you must commit to volunteering for four hours a week for one year.
Education and Literacy
Are you a literature buff, a science enthusiast or a math wiz? The below virtual volunteer opportunities are a great way to flex your knowledge and give your time to those who could use the help, straight from your home office.
Distributed Proofreaders is a web-based platform whose goal is to preserve public domain books by converting them into e-books. As a volunteer, you can help by proofreading individual pages, checking pre-released e-books for errors, providing content or making suggestions for process and site improvements.
The Oakwood Education Foundation’s mission is to bridge the educational gap and provide underprivileged students with the support and resources they need to thrive inside and outside of school. They pair these students with tutors who can help them with a variety of different subjects.
You only need to be 15 years old to apply to be a tutor — you can choose subjects you feel most confident in, and then offer free study services to those who don’t have access to private tutors.
UPchieve is a free online platform that provides online tutoring and college counseling to low-income high school students. As a volunteer, you’ll become an academic coach and connect one-on-one with students to provide tutoring in different subjects as well as college advice that can increase their academic progress and chances of going to college — an opportunity they’re not always given otherwise.
TeensGive provides a great volunteer opportunity for high school students that can be done virtually. As an online volunteer, you’ll provide academic tutoring to students in underserved communities who are attending Title 1 schools and are performing below their grade level.
10. Learn To Be
Learn To Be is another nonprofit online tutoring service that helps underserved kids reach their academic goals. As a volunteer, you’ll provide one-on-one tutoring to elementary, middle school or high school students in subjects they may be struggling with.
11. Science Buddies
Science Buddies is an online platform where science enthusiasts can volunteer their time to share their expertise and answer science-related questions for K-12 students. High school students and adults who love science are welcome to apply.
There are so many organizations and causes out there looking for compassionate individuals to help make a difference in the lives of people all over the world. Make your voice heard by signing up for a virtual volunteer opportunity you truly care about.
12. Missing Maps
Missing Maps creates maps of unmapped communities around the world that are at risk of suffering from disasters and crises. In turn, these maps can help organizations better serve and respond to these communities should a disaster occur. Volunteers can help by tracing satellite imagery and adding communities and street names to the database so they can be found and reached in times of need.
Volunteers at Nabuur help communities and villages in Africa, Asia and Latin America by collaborating and coming up with ideas to solve local issues affecting residents. As a volunteer, you’ll connect with members of these communities and share your knowledge and ideas to help solve issues in developing countries.
Humanitarian Data Exchange is a platform designed to help find, share and use humanitarian data all in one place. Virtual volunteers can help by adding information to the online database, making it easier for individuals or organizations to access this information for analysis.
Change.org allows you to create online petitions on social or humanitarian issues you’re passionate about. You can start a petition for free, share it with your community and increase support for a cause you believe in. Start a petition supporting grassroots movements to drive support from your community and encourage others to get involved. These ongoing efforts made by ordinary citizens can make a huge impact on the decisions of policymakers.
Tarjimly is an app that provides support to refugees who are struggling with language barriers. Volunteers can fill out a language profile and connect with refugees who speak the same language. Through the online chat, volunteers can help provide translation assistance to those who need it.
Similar to Tarjimly, multilingual volunteers can help translate important documents for organizations all over the world with the United Nations. The UN also has additional volunteer opportunities available including writing, editing, art and design.
DoSomething is a nonprofit organization that empowers young people to get involved with social change. Through their digital platform, you can volunteer for a variety of different campaigns in order to help solve real-world social issues.
From guiding youth through tough situations to lending a helping hand to seniors, helping even one person can be just as meaningful as fighting for larger issues. If you’re looking to make a positive social impact, here are a few online opportunities you can look into today.
The Trevor Project is a national organization providing crisis and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ youth under the age of 25. As a remote volunteer, you can become a digital crisis counselor, where you’ll be responsible for responding to chats and texts from youth. You’ll help guide them through issues like coming out, suicide or identity crises. All volunteers will receive training on how to best handle these situations.
20. Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. is an organization focused on inspiring young girls to be smart, strong and independent young women. You can become a volunteer social media ambassador, where you’ll help spread and amplify the organization’s message — and you only need to dedicate five minutes each week!
Show your support for first responders, military troops and veterans by writing thank you letters and sending them through Operation Gratitude. The nonprofit organization sends out care packages that include letters from grateful Americans — it’s an easy and simple way to give thanks to service members and make someone’s day.
Lifetime Connections Without Walls provides online classes and activities for seniors to participate in from their homes. All you have to do to volunteer is sign up to facilitate a session and help put a smile on someone’s face.
DOROT provides another opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in the lives of lonely older adults. As a volunteer, you can sign up to send cards, make calls or connect with a senior over Zoom. You’ll be matched with a senior and dedicate 30 minutes a week to connect, chat and bond with them from the comfort of your own homes.
Cards for a Cause is a nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of ill or hospitalized children by creating and sending handmade cards. You can make a child’s day a little brighter by sending your cards to Cards for a Cause and they’ll ship it out to a child who could use the smile during a difficult time.
Environment, Animals and Wildlife
Whether it’s making phone calls to voters or sharing important messages via social media, the below online community service opportunities allow volunteers to support initiatives that help protect our environment and the animals that live in it.
25. Humane Society
Humane Society volunteers can make an impact from home by making phone calls to voters around the country to gain support for ballot initiatives. These initiatives include matters like animal cruelty, wildlife protection and farm animal protection.
26. ZSL Instant Wild
Volunteering through ZSL Instant Wild is one of the easiest ways to help contribute to the conservation and protection of our wildlife. All you have to do is identify and tag animals in images and videos either online or through the smartphone app, which helps scientists better protect wildlife.
27. Sierra Club
Sierra Club is an online platform designed to encourage people to take action on environmental issues. To get involved, simply join any of the campaigns listed on their website.
Togean Conservation Foundation is a charity organization whose mission is to protect the wildlife and culture on the Togean Islands in Indonesia. As a volunteer, you can help remotely by assisting with grants and fundraising, designing campaigns or helping with the creation and distribution of newsletters and other online content.
World Animal Foundation is dedicated to preserving and protecting our planet and its wildlife — and they’re always looking for virtual volunteers who can help. To find out more about their virtual volunteer opportunities, fill out the form on their volunteer page.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is another organization focused on protecting the Earth and its people, animals and plants. You can get involved virtually by volunteering to share important information and messages on social media or by contacting legislators about bills that pose a threat to the environment.
Friends of the Earth is committed to pushing for reforms that are needed to make our Earth and environment a healthier place. You can take action by volunteering to contact Congress about important issues or by contacting big companies to demand change.
Holiday Service Ideas
Though the season of giving should be year-round, the holidays are a special time to spread cheer even from afar. Below are a few ways you can get involved and help make someone’s holiday season merry and bright.
32. Toys for Tots
Toys for Tots collects new and unwrapped toys to give to children in need around the holidays to spread Christmas joy. If you’re not able to physically drop off a gift, you can still help out by purchasing toys through their website and sending a virtual toy box.
33. Adopt a Family
Adopt a Family is a Salvation Army program that helps families in difficult circumstances who don’t have the resources to celebrate the holidays. When you adopt a family, you can provide them with food, clothes and gifts to help make their holiday special. To apply to adopt a family, contact your local Salvation Army or donate money via their website to support a family in need.
34. Operation Santa
Operation Santa is a program run by the U.S. Postal Service where volunteers can “adopt” a letter a child writes to Santa and help fulfill the child’s holiday wishes. You can answer one or more of these letters, do some holiday shopping, then drop the gifts off at any participating post office in your area.
Similar to Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child is a project run by Samaritan’s Purse that sends shoeboxes filled with toys, hygiene items and school supplies to children outside of the U.S. who have been affected by poverty, war, natural disaster, famine or disease. You can make your own shoebox or build one online through their website.
35. Card Swap for Warriors
Chronic Warrior Collective is an organization connecting individuals who are battling long-term illnesses all over the world. They host a monthly card swap, including a holiday card swap, where individuals can send letters and cards to encourage those fighting chronic illnesses.
Additional Ways to Foster Community and Give Back
Aside from making a difference through these online community service opportunities, there are many ways you can get involved in your local neighborhood. Whether gathering donations for the less fortunate or helping a neighbor in need, making an impact and creating change starts in our own backyards.
Not only are these ideas a great way for adults to get involved, but they’re also the perfect opportunity to teach kids the importance of community, kindness and giving. Here are some additional ways you can foster a sense of community, get your children involved and give back to your neighborhood.
- Donate clothes and shoes. Clean out your closet and donate your old clothes or shoes to local drop-off centers like Goodwill or Salvation Army in your neighborhood. Clothes or shoes that may be catching dust in your closet can make a big difference to someone who needs it.
- Plant a tree. Tree planting is a simple and effective way you can do your part to help our environment and better the planet. Search for local organizations or schools that hold tree planting events to get involved in your area.
- Donate old books and magazines. Daycares and local hospitals are always open to receiving new or used books and magazines for their students and patients. Dust off your bookshelf and visit your nearest hospital or daycare to spread some kindness to others.
- Plan a collection drive. Collection drives can be for a variety of items, including canned food, clothes, blankets, diapers or bottles and cans for recycling. The list is endless! This is a great way to get your community involved and collect needed items for a charitable cause.
- Foster an animal. There are hundreds of animals waiting to be adopted in communities all over our nation. Even if you’re not committed to owning an animal, you can help by caring for a shelter pet until they find their forever home.
- Make blankets to donate. Hospitals, homeless shelters and women’s shelters are always looking for warm blanket donations to give to those they serve. Get creative by making a handcrafted blanket to send warmth to those in need.
- Host a community cleanup. If you’re looking to bring your community together, what better way to do so than by making sure it’s taken care of. Host a community cleanup and visit local parks to pick up trash and litter to preserve the beloved neighborhoods in your community.
- Support your local small businesses. Shopping and showing your support for local businesses is important because they’re operated by your neighbors! By supporting them, you’re also supporting the local economy.
- Be a friend to your neighbors. From offering to go grocery shopping for a senior neighbor to cooking and delivering a meal to a neighbor who is sick, simple acts of kindness can go a long way.
When it comes to volunteering your time, the possibilities are endless. If you’re ready to get involved and make a difference in the lives of others around the world, these online community service opportunities are the perfect place to start. Check out our computer deals so you’re equipped with all of the resources to give back this year and beyond.
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