Volunteer Without Leaving Home
We live in an amazing world. You can now get involved and make a significant difference without leaving home. Welcome to the world of the virtual volunteer.
Virtual volunteering means you can get involved in a volunteer activity using your computer, the internet and/or phone. Through virtual volunteering agencies are able to expand their programs allowing more people to volunteer.
There are many benefits of virtual volunteering. It allows people to volunteer who have time constraints or can’t leave home because of disabilities or caretaking responsibilities, or don’t have transportation to get to organizations. This can be great for the senior volunteer who may have health issues, but still wants to help. It allows for more freedom and fitting it in to your schedule.
The virtual volunteer website provides information about volunteer opportunities available virtually, offers advice and explains the benefits of this kind of contribution. It provides information about how to find virtual volunteer positions, but it doesn’t actually post positions.
Because it’s so easy to commit to virtual volunteering the site offers a check list to make sure this is the right choice for you. There are a number of issues you may want to consider before taking on this type of obligation. Do you have regular access to the internet? Do you communicate well through the writing? Are you able to establish and stick to deadlines? Can you wok independently without direct supervision? Do you wait until the last minute to finish projects?
You need to also consider what benefits you will receive by volunteering this way. One of the main reasons retired people get involved is to feel connected to others. While there will be communication with other people with virtual volunteering, you stay removed from face to face contact.
Another way to volunteer without leaving home is being on call for a crisis center. One assault program team was issued cell phones by the agency. After completing a training program, volunteers are able to provide emotional support and resources to individuals recovering from sexual assault. Because the agency needs to man the phones 24 hours a day, they have found that providing volunteers with phones is one way to make sure they have constant coverage.
Technology is often blamed for being cold and impersonal. As service organizations explore new ways to meet their needs, technology has provided tools through virtual volunteering that expand the services and the people who can get involved.