Volunteer Creativity From the Comfort of Your Own Home

Ilya Ushakov

Director, Programs & Volunteerism

We’re delving into a unique element of volunteering on our blog each day during National Volunteer Week. From reflections on wellness to explorations of new trends, check back each day for a different take on how volunteering continues to make the world go round. Today’s post is Part 4. Click to read Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.

When we think of volunteering, our minds tends to jump to serving hot meals to the homeless, supporting arts or sporting events, or nurturing animals at the shelter—but these are but small slices of the sweet volunteerism pie. 

In the midst of this global pandemic, in which many Edmontonians are working from home and sheltering in place, we’re lucky to be able to take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities that can be done from our own living room. 

There are two different ways to look towards volunteering from home: virtual volunteering and microvolunteering.

Volunteer Connector has scores of virtual volunteer opportunities listed throughout Alberta.

Volunteering goes virtual

Virtual volunteering is quite simple: it’s the opportunities that you can do while on your phone, computer and other electronic devices. One of its greatest strengths is that it can be entirely framed around sharing some of your existing skillset. For example, many non-profits—particularly smaller, newer organizations—don’t always have the resources and capacity for communications and marketing, and would benefit from the teach-savvy and social-media-wizardry of our younger generations. Opportunities like this can be found on Volunteer Connector. 

Micro tasks for massive impact

Microvolunteering is a different approach to volunteering, but it tends to fit well within our existing patterns and habits. 

Usually done in short bursts and focused around a specific project or task, microvolunteering is the healthy snack version of traditional volunteering’s three-course meal. We don’t always have time to indulge in a larger volunteer commitment, but fortunately we can have the occasional quick bite by getting creative with microvolunteering, and you’re likely to have the supplies you need right at home.

Do you love knitting or crocheting? 

Take some time to pick up your needles and yarn and produce something colourful and comfortable. You can donate items to those in need, or simply add some vibrancy to our urban landscape. Those eager to support the pandemic response and look up ear-savers, which help those who wear masks for prolonged periods of time.

Are you a crafty creator?

How about diving into your storage spaces and putting together craft kits for the children in your community to help keep them entertained while their parents are busy working from home. Expect to see more organizations seeking these types of donations in the coming months.

You can create or sign petitions, write supportive emails, pick up litter in your neighbourhood, or share a positive experience with a local business or non-profit in the form of a Facebook or Google review. As you can imagine, the microvolunteerism possibilities are endless! 

The beauty of microvolunteering is that it’s wholly unique to each person, built on sharing individual passions and hobbies with those around you. If you’re struggling to think up options for yourself, I encourage you to read Volunteer Canada’s page for some inspiration.

During National Volunteer Week, we invite you to celebrate the volunteers in your life by sharing your stories with us on social media!  Just follow @EdmCVO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the hashtags #yegvolunteers and #NVW2020.

For all organizations, volunteers, and people celebrating, Happy National Volunteer Week!