With a completely remote spring and summer term, most Portland State students are spending a lot of time studying at home. It’s easy to feel powerless amid all this uncertainty, but virtual volunteering is the perfect way to channel your frustration into creating a positive impact. Check out these virtual volunteer opportunities that allow you to take action while social distancing.
Considering the high need for cloth face masks to help stop the spread of disease, sewing masks is one of the most impactful ways to volunteer. Even if you’re not a skilled sewer, making masks is easy with the help of the Center for Disease Control’s instructions and pattern, which can be found on its website. Take a look at findthemasks.com for a great resource that lists organizations in need of homemade mask donations. If you want to focus on helping local hospitals and clinics, Find The Masks lists several locations that are accepting homemade masks, including Recovery Works NW and CODA, Inc.
Whether you’re living at home right now or still on campus, many are feeling the effects of being separated from friends and loved ones. For seniors living in isolation right now, loneliness can be hard to handle. This next volunteer option is the easiest to do from home—and you have the opportunity to brighten someone’s day. Check out East Side Elders or Love for the Elderly for more information about how to write uplifting letters to lonely seniors.
Living through a pandemic isn’t easy—which is why mental health services are more important than ever before. Becoming a crisis text line counselor can be a very rewarding way to make a real impact in the lives of people who are struggling. After a brief online training, you can gain the skills to counsel people in need over text. Go to crisistextline.org to learn how to help people with only your phone and an internet connection.
As college students, many of us are familiar with the difficulties of adapting to remote learning. K-12 students around the country are trying to learn amid an unprecedented shift in our public school system. If you are passionate about teaching and education, or just want to help a fellow student, consider online tutoring. Multiple organizations, including upchieve.org, offer opportunities to virtually tutor students and help them achieve success.
Social distancing undoubtedly raises new challenges for voter turnout, but you can still encourage your community to get involved from home. If you’re passionate about politics, consider helping increase voter turnout virtually through a non-partisan organization like turnoutnation.org. Whether you are interested in virtual canvassing, tech consulting or creative projects, Turnout Nation offers opportunities for you to use your strengths to inspire political change.