How Students Can Volunteer in a Virtual World
When students consider volunteering, they usually think of activities such as visiting the elderly, helping in a charity store or packing food hampers. The reality is there are many amazing volunteering opportunities available that students can do from home.
Community organisations and NGO’s have expanded their online volunteering roles due to COVID, giving students the chance to make a real difference. Not only will students get to learn about the community and wider world, volunteering online helps them develop essential career skills for the future.
Virtual volunteering is convenient for parents too as kids don’t need to be dropped off or picked up and they can often work on projects in their own time. Students with physical and other challenges can also participate more easily.
Through online volunteering students can make the most of the following exciting opportunities.
Learn Design and Marketing
Community organisations are always looking for volunteers to help with their graphics, advertising and social media channels. Students who have an interest in design and marketing can learn a great deal by offering their services.
This is also a great way to pick up general administration skills by volunteering for routine tasks such as data entry and website administration. Opportunities can be found on sites like Seek, GoVolunteer and NSW Volunteering.
Help Map the World
Students who enjoy geography will relish the chance to help map unchartered areas. Volunteers are needed to create maps using satellite imagery for organisations like Missing Maps.
The focus is on mapping areas with vulnerable populations to help NGOs respond quickly in a crisis. This is meaningful work which will give students a feeling of accomplishment and help them develop a wider perspective.
Monitor Trail Cameras
Students can volunteer to watch trail cameras and record information for research projects. Trail cameras are set up by scientists to monitor animal populations in critical areas.
The data provided through volunteers helps organisations and governments manage wildlife and protect endangered species. Students who are concerned about the environment will be very motivated by this work.
Transcribe Historical Documents
Community orgnisations have archives brimming with historical documents which need to be transcribed into digital formats. The documents range from birth certificates and official records to letters and diary entries.
Volunteers learn how to use transcribing software and create records for future generations. Those who volunteer at the Australian museum get the benefit of behind-the-scenes talks and tours, as well and membership of an active online community.
Become an Online Friend
Visiting people in person isn’t the only way to connect. There are many in the community who would welcome the chance to interact online.
Students can make contact with local retirement villages to find out if there are any seniors who’d like an online friend. Communication can be through video chat, by email or social media.
All online contact should be closely monitored, but the sky is really the limit when it comes to digital volunteering opportunities.