As we all continue to be buffeted by COVID-19–themed news, it can be useful to think of ways to ground ourself admist the chaos. To stay grounded, you may be prioritizing your wellness or finding ways to practice gratitude.
Giving Back Through Volunteering
Another way you do this is by giving back to others through volunteering. If you have the capacity, volunteering can be a great way get involved and stay busy. What’s more, giving to others can help you find a sense of power and calm when things are uncertain.
Columbia Iniatives: How to GET INVOLVED
Whether you’re in New York or back at home, there are lots of ways you can work with your Columbia family to support COVID-19 research and relief efforts. This list of volunteer opportunities can help you build experience while also making a difference for our community.
Or join Hearts Over Hands, a volunteer organization started by Anna Beloborodova CC’21, to match University students with families in need of childcare.
New York Initiatives: Virtual and in-person opportunities
Looking for ways to help out with NY-specific causes?
Review this list from Volunteer New York for opportunities to volunteer from home. You can also find volunteer opportunities aligned with your schedule and the issues you care about via New York Cares. On Help Now NYC, learn how you can help New Yorkers affected by the pandemic.
United States Volunteer Opportunities
If you’re interested in less of a local approach:
- Check out virtual and local opportunities to volunteer through Volunteer Match or Idealist, or match them specifically to your schedule through Catch A Fire.
- Let the Red Cross help you brainstorm ways you can volunteer—from digital advocacy to serving as a local disaster volunteer.
- Provide free online mentorship to students in need via organizations like the World Family Children Foundation.
- Connect with nonprofits in need and remotely support causes you believe in via Create the Good, an initiative from AARP.
- Search for short-term, pro-bono consulting projects, curated on Taproot+ for remote opportunities that fit your skillset.
- Write letters to the elderly in nursing homes as part of Love for the Elderly.
- Peruse these 10 ways to safely help your community during COVID-19, from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Transcribe images of historical documents into digital form to help make this data more accessible with Smithsonian Transcribers.
- Scan textbooks, best sellers, children’s books, and career resources or proofread and format scans that others have made for Bookshare’s library that makes reading easier for people with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers.
International opportunities to give back
With COVID-19 affecting people across the globe, there’s no shortage of ways to help out—even on an international scale.
These organizations and volunteer platforms can help you begin your search for your best-fit volunteer experience:
Remember to Take Care of Yourself First
During this time, everyone’s capacity and needs are different. So first and foremost, make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your family.
And remember: as you figure it out, we will continue to navigate your career together.