Get Involved, Give Back, Serve
As our Husky family finds itself spread across the world, we have come to realize now more than ever the importance of continual dedication to civic engagement and service. Thus, we encourage each of you to get involved by finding opportunities to serve! Even though we cannot always volunteer together, there are many ways to give back. We have compiled a list of opportunities that most anyone can pursue regardless of geographic location. To all of you that volunteer your time and talents – YOU are our Husky Helpers! We appreciate all that you do. Keep an eye out, as this page will be updated on a regular basis.
For more local in person and virtual opportunities check out GivePulse. GivePulse is an online community enabling everyone to list, find, coordinate, and measure their impact in the community. Whether you are a volunteer, student, faculty, donor, or community member; GivePulse provides a platform for all to manage and coordinate experiences. GivePulse gives you a fuller understanding of the impact you have on your community.
The following suggestions are projects/activities/philanthropic actions that you can complete in most locations, or according to your own schedule, that will benefit your neighbors and the global community. Some may ask that you commit to serving over a sustained period of time while others only ask that you log in and serve whenever is convenient for you.
Please note that some of these opportunities and organizations require that you register/create an account before you can participate and some of these opportunities may include downloading an app to your smartphone or device for participation.
American Red Cross
Volunteers have several options to help with COVID-19 and disaster relief. Digital volunteers assist the social engagement team by monitoring online conversations, sharing important disaster updates and resources, and offer a compassionate voice to people who have been impacted.
If you feel this role is a good fit for you use the following link: American Red Cross
Amnesty Decoders supports others by researching and exposing human rights violations. Support this cause from your home at Amnesty Decoders.
Be My Eyes
Help blind and vision-impaired people by providing visual assistance via video chat. Tasks can be large or small to help people lead a more independent life. Earn corporate donations for the charity of you choice simply by running, walking, swimming, etc. Download the Charity Miles app, choose the cause you would like to benefit, and get moving! Every mile that you log earns money for the charity you have chosen.
Learn more about how it works, and download the app using the following link: Be My Eyes
Volunteer with Bookshare to help bring literature to people with reading barriers. You can help scan and edit books, or describe images for others.
Volunteer with Summer Camp Hub with this online tutoring opportunity. Help children improve their literacy skills, teach them how to code or help them better understand math and science all summer long!
Earn corporate donations for the charity of you choice simply by running, walking, swimming, etc. Download the Charity Miles app, choose the cause you would like to benefit, and get moving! Every mile that you log earns money for the charity you have chosen.
Learn more about how it works, and download the app using the following link: Charity Miles
Spend some time outdoors by taking a walk in your neighborhood or favorite space. Bring a bag and some gloves and pick up trash as you go. Make sure you dispose of garbage in the proper receptacle and try to recycle when possible! You can also use this time for personal reflection or to catch up with loved ones over the phone. Remember to follow all CDC health guidelines for social distancing in your area whenever traveling outside. Thank you for doing your part to keep your community beautiful and to keep our world healthy!
Crisis Text Line
Volunteers are needed in U.S., Canada, Ireland, and U.K., ages 18 and older to offer free, 24/7 support to those in crisis. As a crisis counselor, you will be trained to answer texts to serve as support to help calm others with creative solutions and problem solving techniques. This opportunity is perfect for night owls or early risers, get started here.
Become a mentor for students at icouldbe to talk about career goals. This online platform opens communication lines and provides virtual activities to engage with your mentee.
Another way to mentor others is through IntoBooks. Take the time to read the same book as a child and hold a virtual meeting to discuss the book. Fill out the interest form here.
Lights Off to Reduce Energy Consumption
Don’t stop your energy conservation activities just because Earth Day is over - everyday as an opportunity to reduce your energy consumption! Look around and decide which non-essential lights can be turned. Next, decide how many hours you want to leave those lights off. You can reduce greenhouse gases by up to .15 pounds per hour that you keep lights off. For more information on how to be sustainable, check out the Alternative Energy Enterprise.
Omega House offers a peaceful, homelike environment for terminally ill people and provides end-of-life care that emphasizes compassion, independence, respect and dignity. In cooperation with local hospice programs, Omega House provides residents with exceptional care and attention 24-hours a day, seven days a week throughout Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties, and strives to continuously exceed the expectations of the patients and families we serve. Volunteers assist with any number of patient and family needs – ranging from social visits to preparing meals to lawn care and snow removal. Learn more here.
Contribute toward care packages sent to troops and first responders around the world by writing letters of thanks. You can learn more about the mission of Operation Gratitude here. Currently, there is an urgent need for thank you letters written specifically to deployed troops, first responders, and emergency medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. For letter writing guides that meet Operation Gratitude's specification, please click here.
To make this easy (and because the organization requests that letters not be sent in separate envelopes), we recommend that you compose your letters electronically and email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will print and send all letters together.
Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly
The Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly is an organization located in Hancock that is committed to providing friendship and service to lonely and isolated elderly people. They are an extended family of elders, volunteers, donors, and employees dedicated to making a difference in the lives of elderly people. They are always looking for volunteers to help with seasonal cleanups, chopping firewood, visiting with the elderly (even virtually!), holiday celebrations, and much more. Find out how you can help by visiting their website. They currently have some additional virtual volunteer opportunities available as well.
United Way’s mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good. They offer a website in which you can search your local area for ways to serve. Check out volunteer opportunities in your local area here.
Project Gutenberg - Proofreading
Project Gutenberg is a free online library that promotes public literacy through the creation of ebooks. You can contribute to this ongoing project by joining a vibrant community of volunteers who proofread pages. Visit the volunteer page and register to become a Distributed Proofreader to get started.
The Smithsonian Institute - Transcribing
You can help The Smithsonian Institute to make collections more accessible by volunteering to transcribe historical documents and collection records. These transcriptions facilitate research and extend great learning opportunities to everyone. With a wide range of special interests to transcribe, who knows? You may even learn something new as well! You can learn more about the history of Smithsonian digital volunteering and the importance of transcriptions here. If you are new to transcribing, there are helpful guides and instructions available here.
If you are interested in participating, use this link to register a username to your email address and following the instructions after you have signed up found here: Become a Smithsonian Institute Digital Volunteer