When the global pandemic struck, it threatened to end a number of industries. The limiting of physical interaction and enforced lockdowns caused a sudden halt to how everyone went about their lives, from doing work to leisurely activities.
Adults faced unprecedented challenges juggling remote work tasks and responsibilities at home. However, children were also especially affected by COVID-19, as they had to continue school through online classes and had little to no opportunity for social interaction.
Parents and guardians face the challenge of encouraging their teens to remain active and connected while staying safe from the virus at home. Despite the constraints, young people can still make a difference in the comfort of their homes through online volunteering.
Set Up a Space for Your Child
There are numerous ways to help out with just a laptop or a smartphone. However, volunteering is a commitment and requires a significant amount of time in assisting with various projects. Give them a dedicated space where they can accomplish their tasks as volunteers.
This does not seem important, but an adequate work area allows your child to understand that what they are doing is serious and has real-life significance. It lets them hone soft skills, which are valuable for adulthood, especially in growing their careers.
Provide a device that allows them to do their volunteer work. If your child has a faulty gadget, a quick visit to the computer or cellphone repair business franchise allows for a more comfortable online volunteering experience. Provide a workstation also, where they can sit down and work.
These little actions let them recognize your support for what they are doing, and ultimately let them understand the meaning of their work, too.
Different Ways Your Child Can Volunteer Online
There are plenty of ways for your teenager to volunteer online. Here are some platforms that allow them to support various advocacies and causes.
1. Volunteer with the United Nations.
The UN is one of the first places anyone thinks of when volunteering and advocacy are mentioned, and for good reason. UN Volunteers is connected with many organizations across the globe, which means that it opens many opportunities to volunteer worldwide.
A wide variety of support is also required through their many affiliated organizations. Teens can offer various abilities, such as their graphic design expertise, writing skills, project managing, and even researching.
2. Help visually impaired individuals.
Sighted teenagers can offer support to people with blindness or low vision through a smartphone app. Be My Eyes is a free app that connects volunteers to visually impaired individuals who are in need of visual assistance.
The app connects a volunteer to an individual through a video call in which they can help others through a variety of everyday tasks. For example, some go on the app to help with reading food labels, navigate unfamiliar surroundings, and even read bits of text for the caller.
3. Help out in a museum.
Museums are a great source of education for both children and adults. They also have a lot of information to cull through in order to create their collections and exhibits and help with their tours.
One such museum that takes online volunteers is the Smithsonian. They currently have digital volunteering opportunities for those who are able to lend a hand in performing research or transcriptions.
The Met also periodically accepts volunteers for their guided tours for students, too. The tours themselves are done in person, but the museum announced that some of their training will take place online for volunteers in 2021 and 2022.
4. Provide translations for humanitarian aid.
For multilingual students, organizations such as Translators Without Borders take assistance from volunteers to translate medical reports, support education, and even help in responding to crises through translations. The only requirement is to be fluent in at least one other language than the individual’s native language.
Although the nonprofit is based in the United States, it provides language support worldwide. Your teen can support health, education, and dignified living in other countries through their translation efforts.
5. Make books more accessible online.
Project Gutenberg is famously the first website that provided free access to ebooks through the internet. Your teenager can give assistance to their ever-growing digital library. The Distributed Proofreaders platform lets volunteers proofread scanned pages of books before they are assembled into ebooks that everyone can find on their website.
These opportunities and the mere possibility of online volunteering have proven that there is truly no shortage of ways to help, even for young people. Encourage your child to volunteer to encourage growth in the midst of a pandemic.