Updated: Feb 3
If Covid has you stuck at home doing school online all day, it's easy to forget about your extracurriculars resume, but actually now is the most important time to tackle this critical college planning tool. Why?
1. SAT/ACT aren't available right now
2. GPA is devalued for at-home work
3. You have tons of free time, and...
4. It's so cool
So, what can you do from home? In addition to donating, there are ways to volunteer to help those who are more vulnerable. Check out these fun ways to help others in need. Be part of the solution while building a powerful resume that college admissions officers will LOVE!
Serve Hope teaches English to disadvantaged children and families in Honduras via online model. They need American students who can mentor and tutor virtually to facilitate mastery of our language and represent our culture to a 3rd world society. Contact Shari Weaver
Bookshare.Org offers thousands of books to people with reading disabilities. As an online volunteer, you can either scan books to be added to the collection or edit books that have been scanned.
Career Village is an online platform to ask or answer career questions about a field you may be familiar with. You'll need a LinkedIn account.
Learning Ally empowers dyslexic, blind, and visually impaired students to succeed in school. Use your voice talent to bring juvenile fiction books to life; listen to juvenile and popular fiction and provide feedback to narrators around fluency, tone, mispronunciations and audio quality; conduct quality assurance playing books back just like students will, and checking for anything that would result in a less-than-enjoyable listening experience.
Skills for Change lets you assist international professionals in their settlement process, language skills development, and provide entrepreneurship guidance.
StoriiTime lets parents set up a video call with their child and an isolated senior. Seniors can read children’s books to little ones, or kids can read to a senior. “This virtual interaction can improve a child’s listening, social and vocabulary skills, and support seniors by bringing joy and a connection to an experienced older generation.”
TED Translators subtitle global TED Talks, enabling the ideas in them to transcend languages and borders.
Translators Without Borders recruits volunteers who want to translate texts into different languages for NGOs and nonprofits.
UPchieve is a free online platform matching low-income high school students in the U.S. with volunteer coaches. Coaches provide either math tutoring or basic college advice to help students improve their grades, academic motivation, and chances of going to college.
American Corporate Partners provides veterans with mentoring through ACP AdvisorNet, which is an online network of volunteer advisors who commit to sharing their business expertise and advice with military veterans and their immediate family.
Hire Heroes USA has volunteers participate remotely, helping veterans and their spouses with mock interviews, career counseling, or providing guidance on job searches, preparing resumes, and filling out applications.
Soldiers’ Angels let's you give back to our troops and veterans. Join a virtual team to write letters, send cards or bake treats to send to soldiers. To join a team, you’ll need to pay a $1 monthly donation. Other virtual volunteering (no team required) involves making masks, no-sew blankets, para-cord bracelets, and cards of support. Learn more here!
Adopt a Nursing Home recognizes the downsides of limiting nursing home residents’ visitors— seeing friends and family is crucial to emotional and mental health. A solution that The Texas Health Care Association has launched is the Adopt A Nursing Home campaign. This provides the ability to send online messages or physical letters of encouragement to residents and staff. Check it out here.
Amnesty Decoders brings together volunteers from around the globe to use their computers or phones to help sift through pictures, information and documents, researching and uncovering human rights violations.
American Red Cross needs volunteers to act as digital advocates. Volunteers can help generate donations to the Red Cross and help share important updates on social media.
Ancestry.com’s World Archives Program (AWAP) provides free software to volunteers in order to access already-scanned images and transcribe them into a common, publicly-searchable database to help others discover their roots.
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app that connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers from all over the world through a live video call. You essentially lend your eyes to help with things like checking expiration dates, distinguishing colors, reading instructions or navigating new surroundings.
Carnamah Historical Society virtual volunteering initiative uses online volunteers to help with transcription and indexing projects to make historical records more discoverable and searchable.
CHD Living owns 13 nursing homes around London and is inviting English speakers from around the globe to apply online to be virtual volunteers for its “Adopt a Grandparent” program. Through this, you’ll be assigned a “grandparent” based on common interests to have video calls with. This is a wonderful way to keep spirits high for those in isolation as well as foster mental stimulation.
National Park Service online volunteers can test, evaluate, or develop elements of the NPS’ online presence. Lots of cool online opps!
OpenMRS is a worldwide network of volunteers from many different backgrounds, including technology, health care and international development. They are working to build the world’s largest and most flexible technology platform to support delivery of healthcare in some of the most challenging environments on the planet.
OpenStreetMap is a free editable map of the whole world. It is made by online volunteers, and anyone can contribute to its geographical database.
Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens is an online database of thousands of images in the Smithsonian’s Collections Search Center. By correctly tagging an image regarding the types of plants in the image, the structures, objects, people or any details you notice, you help make that image more useful to professional catalogers.
Smithsonian Digital Volunteer program has you transcribe historic documents and collection records to facilitate research and preserve these valuable assets for future generations.
Tarjimly provides refugees with on-demand language access via volunteers who can help with translation support through a live chat session.
Trevor Project is an online, social networking community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth as well as their friends and allies. Online volunteers monitor the TrevorSpace site to ensure a safe online space for young LGBTQ people and answer texts or chat messages from struggling youth.
United Nations offers dozens of constantly changing online service options that benefits countries around the world and right here at home. Color code volunteer cards tell you everything you need to know before you commit. This is our #1 option for kids building a college resume.
VocaliD designs personalized synthetic voices for people who have lost their voice or have severe speech impairments. Share your voice and help drive innovation in voice technology.
Zooniverse gives people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science and humanities projects. Check out available projects that you might be able to contribute to here.
FOR LOCAL IN-PERSON OPTIONS, CHECK OUT THESE ONLINE RESOURCES
All for Good is Points of Light’s database of thousands of volunteer opportunities. To find virtual opportunities, enter “virtual” in your search under “More options.”
Catchafire matches professionals with nonprofits based on skills, cause interest, and time availability.
Idealist has tons of volunteer tasks, including a COVID-19 section, listed on its site. Many of these can be completed online.
VolunteerMatch lets you explore hundreds of virtual volunteer opportunities across health and medicine, children and youth, education, community building, and more.