The Sofa Samaritan: Doing Good from Your Couch

Yes, COVID goes on and on. Not that it’s all bad. Maybe you’ve learned to knit, put up passable pickles, or built that jungle gym for the family cat. But now what?

Glad you asked because if you’ve got an hour or more to spend being a good neighbor or a good global citizen, there are plenty of ways to help — right from your sofa. (And doing good feels even better than making pickles!)

Do you have some office skills—from typing to writing proposals? Maybe you know a second language, (even middle school Spanish), can make sense of numbers, or just enjoy talking (on the phone) to teens, adults, or seniors who are lonely or in crisis. Perhaps you’d enjoy writing letters to deployed or hospitalized service people? There are plenty of nonprofit groups, large and small that could use your help — anything from an hour of your time to a month or year-long commitment. Join 12,000 volunteers in 187 countries who work remotely for the UN. If you are skilled in anything from healthcare to technology, writing, editing translation, and research, there’s a job here for you. Like to write a project proposal for a Kenyan NGO? Maybe draft a grant project for a farm in Fiji? Or help conduct online English classes for children in India? It’s all here and much more. This organization matches skilled professionals with projects at various nonprofits devoted to the social good such as Meals on Wheels, the American Red Cross, Children’s Alliance. It could be an hour-long fundraising phone call or a 3-month research project. You create a profile then pick and choose and sign up for alerts. Operated by the Citizen Science Alliance, volunteers (no special expertise needed) partner with academic researchers. Like to study images of faraway galaxies, historical records, and diaries, or videos of animals in their natural habitats? You’ll get smarter and contribute to our understanding of the world, history, and the universe at large. Mostly young activists are using the internet to make a change, such as persuading Apple to diversify their emojis, or creating the world’s largest crowdsourced anti-bullying campaign. Among the projects: ending hunger, racism, and student debt. The world’s leader in volunteerism, the US-based group brings local and global organizations together with community members. They work on everything from disaster relief, homelessness, and wildlife, to LGBTQ issues. Or how about joining the Soldiers’ Angels Deployed Support Teams? This project sends cards, letters, and/or care packages each month to a deployed or hospitalized service member.

Get inspired and see how you can turn some “couch time” into something that makes a difference.

-Frances Goulart

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

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1 comment on “The Sofa Samaritan: Doing Good from Your Couch

  1. Love this.. very inspiring! Thanks

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