Ten ways to make an impact while social distancing

By Brandee Miller | Special to the Katy Times
Posted 6/21/20

Those who want to volunteer but have been unable to do so in the past few months may have been feeling a bit lost. It’s difficult to know how to reach out without having direct personal contact …

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Ten ways to make an impact while social distancing

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Those who want to volunteer but have been unable to do so in the past few months may have been feeling a bit lost. It’s difficult to know how to reach out without having direct personal contact with those who most need the help. Here are 10 ways for people of all ages to lend a helping hand.

  1. Volunteer Match offers virtual and on-site opportunities locally and around the country. Opportunities range from graphic design to app creation to tutoring online and everything else in between. This site matches your interests to available volunteer opportunities. volunteermatch.com
  2. Color A Smile has pages for children, young adults and adults to print, color and send to the address listed on their website. They then send them on to those who might need a bright spot in their day. colorasmile.org
  3. StoriiTime matches children and seniors for story time. Children read virtually to seniors from either a book they have already or from a list of free books offered on StoriiTime.com. This provides reading practice for your children and gives seniors a connection they might not otherwise have during this time of isolation.
  4. TED, an organization that coordinates short seminars on a variety of topics from global warming to advancing STEM in schools, needs translators for 117 languages for those who are fluent in two or more languages and transcribers for those who are comfortable in only one language. Sign up and apply at ted.com/participate/translate.
  5. For those who love to crochet/knit, Warm Up America! accepts sections, finished afghans and accessories year-round for various projects. They also have groups with specific needs listed on warmupamerica.org/make/current-needs/
  6. Do Something is a nonprofit exclusively for young people and offers chances to win scholarships as well. Their projects for social change offer young people a chance to make impact in the world. dosomething.org
  7. Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks. Started in 1971, this site offers various ways of volunteering remotely: proofreading eBooks, procuring eligible paper books and burning CDs and DVDs for people without internet access are just a few. http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:Volunteering_for_Project_Gutenberg
  8. The United Nations offers various virtual volunteer opportunities by registering at youcanleadbn.com/unonline. They need teachers, translators, writers and editors, researchers and organizers.
  9. If ornithology is your thing, eBird.org offers a free mobile app to help you keep track of your bird lists and photos while contributing to science and conservation. www.ebird.org
  10. If you’re social media savvy, you can help your favorite local nonprofit organizations by sharing their social media posts and any announcements they may have.

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