How to Help When You Can’t Leave Home?
Volunteering is at its best when you can get out of the house and join others outside your home in a common cause. It’s good socialization and lets you really see the impact that you have on your community. You get to interact with other volunteers, be in direct contact with your volunteer supervisor, and observe what is going on with your worksite, but sometimes life gets in the way. Whether you have an injury, disability, and other health concerns or just can’t make it out and about today, there are still ways to help both local organizations and international causes. Depending on your skills there are many things that you can do to help others from the comfort of your own home. And if you decided to volunteer in your pajamas, no one has to know.
Crafting: If you are a crafter, think about how the things you make can help. If you knit, crochet, or quilt, then talk to Benefits about making blankets for patients or hats for babies. Or talk with the Rescue Mission and find out if they’d like some scarves for their guests. What about Family Promise, would mittens and a scarf for winter be helpful to one of their families? Be creative and apply your abilities to creating items that organizations can help you get to a person in need. Officially, you’ll be one of their volunteers, but you can do your hours from home.
Projects: If you are facing a health issue or car trouble, talk with the places you volunteer to find out if they have some project you could work on at home. Sometimes it might be a mailing, writing an article for a newsletter, editing an article, researching potential grants and donors, making phone calls, if you’re tech savvy setting up a new website or Facebook page, doing data entry, scanning documents, or typing up documents. Try to be creative with your suggestions and be honest about the capacities you have at home, but be prepared to be surprised as just how much you could do from your living room.
Online: While you may not be volunteering for a local organization, there are lots of ways to support causes around the world through the internet. Keep your mind sharp with vocabulary and match at www.freerice.com where, for every correct answer you choose, 10 grains of rice are raised to help end world hunger through the World Food Programme. Answer questions for research, send messages for advocacy, and more at sites like www.helpfromhome.org and www.onlinevolunteering.org.
The image of the volunteer is usually one that includes a person out in the community getting their hands dirty, but if that’s not feasible for you, there are other ways to help others. All you need is the willingness and a little organization to find a fit that is right for you.