4 reasons why home-based volunteering may be for you

A stereotypical image of volunteering entails a caregiver attending to animals at a shelter or people braving the elements to build homes for low-income citizens. While these scenarios are common, volunteering from home is another avenue to consider. Some people volunteer from home to align with their irregular hours, personal preferences or mobility/health issues, so read on to find out if home-based volunteering is right for you, too.

4 reasons why home-based volunteering may be for you

1. Your hours

  • Many people keep irregular hours for a variety of reasons, including working overnight shifts or long days at the office.
  • However, even people who keep regular hours can benefit greatly from at-home volunteering.
  • Perhaps your only slot to help out is from 7 to 10 p.m., which is hardly conducive to regular business hours.
  • If you volunteer from home, hours are more flexible.
  • You just need to fire up the computer, get the stack of mailing materials and start working.

2. The organization itself

  • You chose a particular group because it devotes itself to an area in which you are passionate.
  • However, physical space at their office may be limited, or perhaps their resources are scarce.
  • Maybe the organization is too far away.
  • In some cases, the organization itself may prefer its volunteers to work remotely.
  • Just think: you can volunteer for an organization across the world right from your living room.
  • Home-based volunteering includes such diverse tasks as making crafts, baked goods or kits for nursing homes or schools, chatting on the phone with lonely people, working a hot line, making fundraising calls or emails, writing and preparing documents--and much, much more.

3. Mobility/health issues

  • Some people have a hard time getting around or dislike going out due to shyness issues or social anxiety. No problem.
  • Home-based volunteering makes it possible for anyone to help.

4. Personal preference

  • Maybe you love computers and solitude, or socializing simply is not your cup of tea for a volunteer job.
  • Whatever the case, your personal preferences may guide you toward volunteer work from home.
  • If you find a group with which you want to volunteer, but all of its opportunities are in person, fear not. Use their existing positions to gauge their needs, and create a proposal for what you could do from home.
  • Contact the organization with your idea.
  • If you need some social contact, you may want to add an in-person volunteering component.
  • Devoting just a few in-person hours a month may be enough to whet a desire to socialize,while allowing you to do the majority of your volunteering at home.
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