How many remember stuffing envelopes at the dining table for the local animal shelter, and licking the sharp-tasting postage stamps to stick in the corner? Or folding flyers for distribution in your street and community? Perhaps you still pick up rubbish as you walk your way to work?
These are just a few examples of the trend now termed micro-volunteering. Tasks that can be done usually on a one-off basis from the comfort of your own home, and around the daily rhythm of life. Work, study, children, sport, and even renovations. No strings attached.
And while snail mail and the postal service may be seen as a relic of the past, the modern era of the internet and technology is fully upon us bringing opportunities to serve in and around the lifestyles we live. Volunteering has gone virtual.
Are you familiar with the ripple-effect sensation created by the Ice Bucket Challenge via social media. In an effort to raise funds and awareness for those living with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease each participant poured water over their head while plunging their feet into a bucket of ice; videoed it, then tagged their friends to do the same. Not traditional volunteering but an absolutely successful campaign, carried out in backyards across the globe; and leveraged by the power of a phone.
Considering in real life we sometimes do not have time to ‘get everything done’ at once and find ourselves breaking down the to-do list into smaller chunks, tucking them into the window of opportunity that we do have, the same can be applied to volunteering.
If you don’t have time to spend 3-4 hours out of the house plus the time to travel each way; can only volunteer on Thursday in the middle of the day but can’t find an on-site opportunity that fits; or you are more able to create time and space sitting in your jammies that’s where micro-volunteering may be the perfect solution. Many of the roles can be completed in byte-sized portions from your computer or phone; or in and around your home.
- Are you able to provide feedback to an organization about how the website they are going to launch looks and works for you? Or design their logo?
- Can you plant up vegetable seedlings for distribution into your local community?
- Could you increase the reach of a goodwill project on social media by introducing it to your social network?
- Are you willing to adopt your street – picking up litter, and notifying the local authorities of any maintenance that needs to be done to keep it safe for all?
- Do you have the skills and equipment to manage the administration needs of a cause, remotely? Ie typing, file management, emails, making or taking phone calls etc.
- Can you organize an event or fundraiser?
Micro-volunteering is one part of the bigger picture of how volunteers can be the one to make a difference with what you have, where you are. Every one counts.
Are you ready to use your mobile with meaning, or your place with purpose?
Have a look at the current volunteer opportunities, or give us a call on 06 391 5476 to have a chat about what you are looking for.