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Want to make an impact from the comfort of your home, but don't know where to start? Whether you're passionate about alleviating world hunger, volunteering at a charity school, or donating old books to a shelter, there are so many volunteer opportunities in the world for you! Although the COVID'19 pandemic has put limitations on our abilities to get out and serve, these unprecedented times can create a path for you to get involved in your local community and contribute your skills and time via the internet. Just know, YOU can make a difference and support a cause even if you can't go physically volunteer in your area.

As the coronavirus pandemic affected communities across the nation, I became concerned about my own communities' health and well being. Here are a few volunteer opportunities currently available for you to virtually extend a helping hand.

United Nations and Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities

Not only can you serve your community, but you can assist GLOBALLY! The United Nations runs an online program connecting volunteers with public-impact opportunities in 187 countries as a short or long term opportunity. You can help with writing, editing, translation, and advocacy to address sustainable development challenges from any device. To add on, If you are interested in a young and energetic place where you'll enjoy flexibility in creating your schedule and freedom to contribute ideas, then the Red Cross Organization is an excellent opportunity for you. During times of disaster, the Red Cross needs volunteers to hold an online discussion about sharing essential updates on social media, which is incredible if you are already active on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Create Masks for Medical Professionals

Now, The computer is NOT the only way to serve your community. Do you have a sewing machine (or a pin and thread!) and some skills? Medical supplies are running increasingly low, and healthcare workers ask for volunteers to create masks to help protect them and ensure safety against COVID-19. This is an excellent opportunity to help the mask shortages at local hospitals and can be therapeutic for you. Stay calm, and sew on!

Writing an Anonymous Letter to the Elderly

Take a moment, sit down, and write a letter to an elder. It only takes a couple of minutes to put a smile on a stranger's face. The Write on Campaign desperately needs letters to support our elders to resist loneliness during these unsettling times. It might not feel easy writing a letter to someone you don't know, but you can acknowledge their contribution, support, and just to let them know that they are valued. As we know, physical isolation is critical for everyone's health right now, but our senior figures deserve to be appreciated and valued.

Tutor Students Online

Many students have suffered a tremendous educational loss during the pandemic. Teensgive.org provides an opportunity for people to mentor or tutor current students online. Although it's challenging to keep students focused and engaged outside of a classroom setting, it's alright; you can help a child receive online tutoring resources and provide the support they need. Learntobe.org is another option for connecting tutors and in-need students on a virtual platform.

 Share Your Story to a Nonprofit Organization

An additional way to serve without leaving your comfortable home is by sharing your personal story with a non-profit organization online. If you've dealt with mental health issues or suffered from a crisis such as homelessness, chronic illness in your family, drug addiction, etc. You can share how it has impacted your life and how you overcame the situation. Your story can be inspirational to those who are experiencing similar hardships. This small act of kindness can make a difference. If interested, reach out directly to organizations in your local community, and ask if you can share your experience.

Leilani Flint is a sophomore, Journalism major, International Affairs and History double minor from Oahu, Hawai'i. She is a hard working college student at Howard University in Washington, DC.
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