For many, the holiday season is when they look for ways to give back and support those in need. Not only does participating in charitable causes help those who need a hand, but research shows that volunteering also helps the volunteers. A research article in BMC Public Health concludes that supporting others can provide a sense of purpose, comfort, and contribute to an improved sense of well-being.
6 Virtual Ways to Give Back to Others This Holiday Season
Can’t volunteer in person? No worries. Technology provides many ways to virtually give back to your community. Here are six online opportunities to help groups and organizations that support children, animals, schools, and more.
1. Organize a Virtual Food Drive
Are you passionate about food security? You can host a virtual food drive to help your favorite food bank. With a virtual food drive you won’t have to gather, store, and transport heavy boxes of food. Another plus is that people from all over the country can participate.
Additionally, since you’re raising money instead of food, the food bank can use that money to buy exactly what they need, instead of you guessing what would be most helpful. To host a virtual food drive, contact your favorite food bank or go to their website for instructions on getting started.
2. Participate in a Virtual Walk or Run
Many organizations, such as cancer groups, suicide awareness organizations, heart disease prevention groups, and more frequently host charity walks or runs.
If you want to walk for a cause, you can participate virtually or organize a virtual walk in your area. An advantage is that some of these virtual charity walks are flexible about when you participate to make it easy to fit it into your schedule. To participate or host a virtual walk, go to your favorite charity’s website for information on how to join in or organize an event.
3. Virtually Support a Local School
Many local schools run virtual fundraisers or spirit nights to raise money for events and supplies. And you don’t need to have a child at the school to help.
A common fundraiser is a spirit night, otherwise known as a dine and donate event. During these events, you buy a meal at the specified restaurant on a certain day. You mention the school and the restaurant donates a portion of the meal’s cost to the school. Spirit nights are often at fast-food restaurants, so you can use the drive-through and still participate. Check out the local school’s website or parent-teacher organization to learn about upcoming virtual fundraisers.
4. Organize a Virtual Toy Drive
The holiday season provides an opportunity to give toys, books, or treasures to children who otherwise may go without. You can contact a local children’s organization such as a shelter or nonprofit group that serves children in need to coordinate a virtual toy drive.
Depending on the organization, you could set up a wish list with specific items requested, so participants can select the gift they’d like to buy virtually from the online store and then mail it directly to the organization. You also could set up your toy drive to raise money that the organization will use to buy toys for the children.
5. Organize a Virtual Fundraiser for an Animal Rescue or Shelter
If you love animals, you may want to help a local animal rescue or shelter this holiday season. These organizations often rely on donations and typically need blankets, food, money to pay vet bills, and more. A virtual fundraiser can help them raise the money they need to provide ongoing care.
6. Volunteer as an Online Tutor
Do you enjoy helping students? You could consider virtually volunteering as an online tutor for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford help. Typically, you’d conduct one-on-one tutoring sessions online for students from elementary to high school. You can contact your local library or search online to find a program.
However you choose to give back this season, there are many virtual options to make it easy!