Helping from home

Ways to volunteer while social distancing

by Jharna Kamath, Reporter

Volunteering is an important way to contribute to the community, especially in a time when people may need a little extra help. Here are eight ways to make a difference in the community from home. 

1. Making masks

With a sewing machine and some extra time, making face masks is a great way to contribute to the community. Find more information about materials and tutorials here, and find organizations in need of donation here

2. Adopt a nursing home

Many nursing homes are currently restricting visitors, leaving residents without visits from friends and family. The Adopt a Nursing Home campaign has been started in Texas for residents and staff to receive kind and encouraging messages. 

3. Tutor a friend

Over either Zoom, Skype, or other video platforms, tutor a friend, family member or neighbor. 

4. Help the United Nations

The United Nations has a list of online projects that anyone can apply to help with. These opportunities include an application and are long term commitments, but can help make a difference around the world. 

5. Project Gutenberg

Help expand the collection of free ebooks with expired copyright by proofreading ebooks before they are added to the website. Volunteers can contribute as often as they want. 

6. LibriVox

Similarly, volunteer with Librivox, donating time to creating public domain audiobooks. Read poetry, novels and more. 

7. Translators Without Borders

For those fluent in more than one language, Translators Without Borders helps nonprofits with translation work by finding volunteers. There are a variety of documents that need translation. 

8. Smithsonian Digital Volunteers

Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer, and help transcribe the Smithsonian’s collection of resources to be more accessible online. Volunteers can transcribe or proofread transcriptions.