With the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the cancellation of many in-person / community volunteer projects this year, there remain many other ways to make an impact in the communities where we live and work – safely and creatively through IICF. Read more about IICF Volunteerism during COVID-19 here.
Ways to Serve the Community Remotely
AARP Create the Good: Search AARP’s virtual volunteer database here for an opportunity in your community at https://createthegood.aarp.org/.
Enter a friend or colleague for the AARP Create the Good - Share Your Love Volunteer Contest by August 2. Nominate an exceptional volunteer in one of two categories – general volunteering or coronavirus-related volunteering. The winning nominee will receive a grand prize of $1,000 along with a matching donation to the charity of their choice!
American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-role-finder.html
- Missing Maps Program
- Blood donation
Bridge Communities, Illinois
Sleep Out Saturday 2020: Virtually Together: One Night, One Community Sleep outside safely in tents, boxes, or cars and raise funds while doing so anytime between October 9 and December 5, 2020. To help make the most of the experience, Bridge Communities has created a wonderful Toolkit of age-appropriate activities and other information to further show what it’s like to be homeless and to help ensure a successful, impactful night. For more information, visit https://www.bridgecommunities.org/Sleep-Out-Saturday/
CareerVillage: Community of students and professions offering career advice https://www.careervillage.org/
Covia - Calls to Seniors (must pass a background check and participate in a 2 hour background check): https://covia.org/services/social-call/
Family Elder Care: Connect with the elderly community members who are isolated via phone from your home. https://www.familyeldercare.org/volunteer/lifetime-connections-without-walls/
Gift of Adoption, Georgia
Volunteers can help with foundation research, writing adoption stories from our family evaluations, or by joining a Gift of Adoption chapter in one of 24 states. Contact Katie Heaps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hire Heroes USA: Help veterans with mock interviews, career coaching remotely: https://www.hireheroesusa.org/volunteer/
Homemade PPE Masks: For healthcare workers, homeless programs/shelters, etc.
- Examples: in Minnesota, Allina & Blue Cross Blue Shield is in need; in Chicagoland, DuPage Pads is in need, CDC, Foodshare in Hartford, CT). Many opportunities are listed on VolunteerMatch.com
Learning Ally: Create Audiobooks - https://learningally.org/Get-Involved/Volunteer-Opportunities
Volunteers create audiobooks for students with learning differences; our member students may be blind or have a vision impairment, or have a learning difference like dyslexia.
Partners in Education, Ohio
Seeking mentors for one-to-one literacy for students grades kindergarten to 3rd in Toledo, OH schools. Tutoring will occur in a virtual environment from October 5 – May 14. For more information, contact Heather Henson at email@example.com.
Phil’s Friends: Send encouraging cards to people fighting Cancer through their Cards of Hope program. https://philsfriends.org/volunteer/
Send Catered Food or Essential Items to homeless shelters – include notes/donations of essential items. Check with your local food shelters for opportunities. Most local shelters have needs ranging from food items to soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, etc.
Send Cards and Letters to the sick and elderly – Hospices and long-term care facilities are in lockdown, isolating people from family, friends and volunteers who cannot visit. Call your local hospice, nursing home, or independent living facility for their rules and needs. Here is one organization that provides this service:
- Letters of Love: https://lovefortheelderly.org/letters
Smithsonian Institute: volunteer by transcribing historical documents: https://transcription.si.edu/
Tierra del Sol Foundation, California
Serving individuals with disabilities. Virtual volunteer opportunities include serving as a guest speaker at a virtual class – topics could include resume building, interview tips, build a LinkedIn profile, why it’s important to have insurance, or related to a hobby or special talent including exercise, gardening, cooking, etc. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://www.tierradelsol.org/.
Track bird populations and migration patterns: https://ebird.org/about/
Trevor Project: Trevor Chat/TrevorText volunteers are trained to answer chat messages or texts online from young people who are struggling with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression, and suicide. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-involved/volunteer/
United Nations: Apply to volunteer with the UN: https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en
UPchieve: Be a virtual Academic Coach to at-risk students: https://upchieve.org/volunteer
Virtual Tutoring –Provide tutoring services and support for high school students in statistics and government courses through virtual Microsoft TEAMS and Zoom platforms.
Write letters to Service Members:
- Operation Gratitude: https://www.operationgratitude.com/express-your-thanks/write-letters/
- A Million Thanks: https://amillionthanks.org/
Other Virtual Opportunities
Find virtual volunteer opportunities in your area through Idealist, Volunteer Match, Catchafire, Serve, All For Good (These websites offer filters by region and type of opportunity you are interested in):
IICF Southeast Division created a video for ChildCareGroup’s Virtual Video Series. Individuals and their families each created a 5-20 second video clip themed to a letter of the alphabet (i.e. A is for Apple, B is for Batman). The finished product with be used to help preschool children learn the alphabet.
Have a nonprofit you would like to add to this list? Please contact Kelly Hartweg at email@example.com
Check back soon to see additional ways IICF and the insurance industry is giving back during this unprecedented pandemic.