Inclement Weather Microvolunteering
With this month (July 2012) set to be the wettest July on record, and unsettled weather forecast in August, UK charities are promoting the benefits of microvolunteering to conscientious Brits trapped indoors. “Microvolunteering” is the buzz word for doing small charitable works in the comfort of your own home or office and in support of Big Society aims. Tasks can be completed in less than an hour and, in many cases, just a few minutes.
Charities are aware that many people would like to give something back to their community and contribute to worthy causes, but are prevented by hectic work schedules and home lives. With the range of microvolunteering opportunities now available, many more people are able to play their part.
“Microvolunteering tasks can be completed at any time of day or night, with no prior commitment or special skills needed – all that’s required is the motivation and access to a computer,”
said Mike Bright, founder and director of Help From Home which coordinates microvolunteering activities for over 700 charities and voluntary organisations.
“If you wake up to one of those depressing days, you can even volunteer in your pyjamas!”
Activities range from participating in scientific or social research to supporting youth projects, playing games for charity or promoting a worthy cause through Twitter. Help From Home has over 800 different microvolunteering tasks to choose from on their website, so in theory there is something for everyone.
If you want to help underprivileged or sick children, there are opportunities to send them a cheery message or gift via postpals.co.uk, bake them a cake through freecakesforkids.org, or even find free medical care online to help save a life – volunteeriraq.org (now defunct) allows you to do just that. If you’re feeling creative, you can contribute to Creativity Pool which collects practical ideas for developing a better world.
Those who are environmentally conscientious can get involved by participating in UK plant and wildlife surveys, booking a home collection for unwanted items to be sent to Africa for re-use, or contacting the UK’s mailing preference service to reduce junk mail delivered to their home, via mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr.
Alternatively, if you have a special skill that you can offer a charity, several websites enable you to do so. Skillsforchange.com runs small projects that can be completed collaboratively and entirely online. Another site, aimed at young people, is Vinspired. Microvolunteering skills such as design, web development and copy-writing are particularly sought after, but charities are also looking for research skills and the ability to brainstorm new ideas.
First published in July, 2012
Author: Jan Schapira – Help From Home Press Officer
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