If there’s anything that this pandemic has taught me, it’s that you can do a lot more from home than you think—including volunteering. Social distancing may have limited your opportunities to help out in person, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make a difference. These days, organizations are looking for online volunteers willing to lend a hand—all you need is internet connection.
Reaching children and adults in over 70 countries, Bookshare aspires to make reading easier for people with print disabilities. The platform houses over 900,000 titles in audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, large font, and other formats and counts on the help of virtual volunteers to keep things up and running. By scanning books that Bookshare doesn’t already have in its collection or proofreading the files that other volunteers have sent in, you can easily take time out of your day to contribute to a worthwhile cause.
Through the United Nations Volunteering Program, you can connect with hundreds of sustainable development projects based all over the globe—from the comfort of your own home, of course. Over 12,000 online volunteers use the platform every year to apply for roles suited to any schedule or skill set. Whether you’re interested in art and design or outreach and advocacy, researching the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 or producing infographics on climate change, this database is worth checking out.
Be My Eyes
Since its launch in 2015, Be My Eyes has connected blind and low-vision people in need of visual assistance with sighted volunteers.Through a live video call, you can help users carry out everyday tasks from checking expiration dates to reading instructions to navigating new surroundings. Almost 4,000,000 volunteers have signed on to work with Be My Eyes, earning the app the title of both the biggest online community for blind and low-vision people and one of the world’s largest micro-volunteering platforms.
Translators Without Borders
Fluent in multiple languages? Here’s a chance to show off your skills. Translators Without Borders is looking for volunteers who can act as an interpreter on a number of humanitarian and development projects worldwide. Their most recent initiative, which aims to distribute reliable COVID-19 information in as many languages and formats as possible, is in special need of support.
Meet Zooniverse: the platform that will let you observe pelicans and count penguins for a good cause. Dubbed “the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research,” Zooniverse connects millions of volunteers with professional research projects–no specialized training is required. With the help of Zooniverse, researchers can collect vast amounts of data from thousands of individual volunteers, helping them analyze information quicker and more accurately.
Staying home doesn’t mean you have to stop volunteering. While the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we interact with the world around us, we can still find ways to incorporate our favorite pre-virus activities into our life at home with a little help from the internet.