Becoming a volunteer is a beautiful way to express compassion. It can also provide wonderful benefits for you. People who volunteer may experience a boost in their mental health, according to Elizabeth Hopper, Ph.D, who wrote about the benefits of volunteering in an article for the University of California, Berkeley.
If you’re interested, but curious about where to begin, we have a few virtual volunteer ideas for seniors that you can do from the comfort of your home.
- Translators Without Borders: Travel may not be easy these days, but there are other ways to cross borders and expand your horizons. If you’re fluent in more than one language, you can put your skills to good use by translating medical texts or crisis responses. You can also volunteer as a project manager, graphic designer or web page designer if you have chops in those areas.
- Crisis Text Line: If you’re an empathetic listener, you may find a volunteer position as a virtual crisis counselor fits in your wheelhouse. Work remotely from your phone, providing support through text messages. Training is free, so you don’t need to have a background in mental health — just a warm, open heart.
- American Cancer Society: Be part of the cure. The well-known Relay for Life event, which raises money for cancer research, is now available online. Host virtual walks through 3D world laps, light virtual luminaria and make donations using digital currency. You can also find online and social media volunteer positions, too.
- Learn to Be: If you have a soft spot for working with kids, virtual tutoring may be for you. Through one-on-one sessions, you can help students in a variety of subjects including math, writing and more.
- Bookshare.org: Calling all bookworms! Share your passion for stories by helping people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy and other barriers customize their reading experiences. You can volunteer to scan books if you have the software to do so or clean up scanned RTF files and format them — all remotely.
- Storii Time: If you love reading and connecting with children, this opportunity is worth a look. Storii Time arranges reading sessions between a child and a senior reader — and they’re in need of volunteers for the latter. The website offers reviews by other volunteers.
- Hire Heroes USA: Make a difference in the lives of those who have sacrificed for our country. You can use your expertise to help veteran and military spouses. Opportunities range from mock interviews for job prep to career counseling, fundraising, outreach and more.
This list is just a starting point. There are many ways to give back, even if official applications or formalities aren’t part of the equation. You can offer to become a mentor to a young person in your network or simply help a neighbor with their tasks one day. Volunteering comes from the heart and the world needs the gifts you have to offer.
If you’re feeling inspired by volunteering, read more about living a life of service.
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