During the COVID 19 pandemic, Priority Candidates strongly encourages clients to find ways to contribute time and talent to organizations that need help. Volunteerism provides an avenue to make a real, positive impact in a time of crisis. It’s also a way to be productive, expand your horizons and network, and apply your skills to tangible projects. These developmental experiences will help you as you pursue future opportunities in the work world.

Framework for Identifying Opportunities

Search for Possibilities

  • Research what is available in your area or virtually, patterning after the ideas offered below. To gather ideas, ask family members which organizations or causes they volunteer with or donate to.

Evaluate Opportunities and Organizations

  • Before reaching out, consider the reputation and scope of the organizations’ work. Does it fit with your values and interests? Will it be easy to work virtually? Can you contribute while still practicing social distancing? If their doors are closed now, do they need skill based, behind the scenes, help preparing for the restoration of their services?

Offer Your Time and Talent

  • Create a short note introducing yourself, sharing a few of your relevant skills along with how many hours you have available. Reach out to targeted organizations first. Also, consider contacting local religious or neighborhood groups, your town council, and well-established groups such as the Lions Club, The Rotary, Community Foundations, or the director of your public library – many libraries are still operating virtually.

Skills to Offer an Organization or Individual

  • Digitization Work: Help an organization digitize their training materials, creating online content or videos

  • Environmental Projects: Bird Counts, Beach Conservation, and Litter Pick Up Projects are outdoor efforts you can undertake while social distancing

  • Fundraisers: Do project planning and design collateral materials for future use

  • Pen Pal Program: Write to members of the Armed Services, the elderly, or the incarcerated

  • Tutoring: Offer video support to parents who unexpectedly need to home school their children

  • Volunteer Later: Train now for future service by learning about the mission of an organization.

Ideas from Priority Candidates

  • Volunteer Online: DoSomething.org is a non-profit for young people and meaningful social change - check out their several virtual campaigns.

  • Identify Local Projects: JustServe.org allows you to identify local projects that need assistance, in addition to volunteer-from-home opportunities.

  • Census 2020 Support: Ask your public library how you can help

  • Community Sewing Projects: Days for Girls is organizing mask making and other sewing efforts

  • Food Insecurity: God’s Love We Deliver; or local food banks need help packaging materials for distribution

  • Homelessness: Provide video tutoring or mentoring to children in shelters

  • Political Action: Offer virtual skill-based help to a political candidate or party that you support

  • Public History: Classify a historic district, help gather data from residents or research properties

  • Public Places: Volunteer for parks or rail trail projects, being mindful of social distancing

  • Social Justice Issues: Organize book drives or letter writing campaigns

  • Support the Elderly: Meals on Wheels continues its mission

  • Volunteerism Centers: New York Cares or your local Alumni Club

  • Offer Your Virtual Talents via a Community Tool: NextDoor or Facebook can be great platforms to help others.