The coronavirus crisis has given us all a different perspective on how we use our time. Some of us are realizing that we had more time to accomplish things than we previously thought. One of those things is volunteering, helping out without risking our health or the health of others. Here are a few volunteer opportunities that involve writing, researching and some fun that can be had right in your own home.
NMAAHC’s Transcription Center Project. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is seeking volunteers to transcribe historical documents. Transcribers can live anywhere in the world and do. An immediate and ongoing need: Freedmen’s Bureau record transcription.
Infinity Hearts is an ongoing memorial featuring people who have succumbed to the coronavirus and related illnesses. This site could use obituaries of those who have died from the disease. The owner, a black woman, had a desire to see people celebrated during these times when loved ones are limited in how they mourn and grieve. Use their contact form to inquire about volunteering or simply choose a plan (free) and contribute obituaries. Though IH is not a nonprofit, the significance of it is that it is a site that will enable people to find relatives for family trees as well as memorialize those people who basically died alone.
Project Gutenberg – Founded in 1971, this may just be the virtual volunteering effort that started it all. The goal is to create the largest digital library, and so far they’ve amassed 59,000 free eBooks. Volunteer by donating eligible materials, transcribing books into a digital form, or proofreading others’ work.
AARP Local Volunteers – AARP has local, statewide and national initiatives that require volunteer service, some of those opportunities are virtual. Your local AARP also lists local volunteer jobs available.
These are a few opportunities, but you can contact any of your local nonprofits and some for-profit businesses to volunteer your services. If you know of a H.S. or college student in need of volunteer service for their resumes, please note that there are sites like Do Something that have volunteer boards.