Volunteering in a Virtual Era

Volunteering in a Virtual EraIn 2020, it felt like everything shifted. With the influx of the Coronavirus pandemic, organizations and businesses transitioned from in-person services to an emphasis on virtual. A study by Gartner HR showed that 88% of organizations either encouraged or required employees to work from home. As businesses, schools, churches, and organizations began operating fully online, many direct-service volunteer roles also changed. And the change appears to be a lasting one. The transition to a virtual world does not just stop with 2020. What does this mean for volunteers? What do volunteer roles look like during this virtual era?

Caring Network is a pro-life non-profit organization in the Chicagoland area. We have been supporting women and their partners encountering unplanned pregnancies since 1981. Like many other organizations, we had to adapt to the changes that 2020 brought. Our six pregnancy centers offer free services including pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and virtual consultations. We continue to reach women in need with a message of hope and truth. Join us in our work today!

Ways to Volunteer in 2021

It can sometimes feel discouraging thinking about the changes we have gone through as a society. But there are benefits from the way organizations have adapted over the past year. Although traditional volunteer roles may be slightly different, there are plenty of ways to still get involved in causes that you care about.

1 – Collect Items for Those in Need

One easy way to contribute to a non-profit organization is by collected needed items for those they serve. Homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, social service organizations, and pregnancy resource centers like Caring Network, can often distribute supplies directly to their clients. Contact your local organization and ask what materials would be beneficial. When possible, only donate new items. If the items are gently used, make sure they are in excellent condition. Gather a group of friends or family members to collect the supplies together. Post about your collection on social media to raise awareness of the need.

2 – Connect With Local Organizations Serving the Community

In the midst of the COVID response, many organizations are still offering direct services to the community. Depending on your state and local regulations, these services may look different than in the past. However, there are often still ways to get involved. Organizations such as food pantries, emergency assistance programs, and homeless shelters seem to be in even more demand. Reach out to your local organization and inquire about current volunteer opportunities. Even if you can’t provide a direct service at this time, there are plenty of other ways to help support the work they are doing.

3 – Raise Awareness to Area Non-Profits Organizations

Do you believe in a particular cause? Are you passionate about an organization in your area? Spread the word! Because everyone is spending so much time online, it’s easy to help raise awareness to your local non-profit organizations. Follow them on social media. Share their posts and promote their events. Talk about them with friends, your small group, or family members. A great way to support their work is by rallying others to their cause.

Are you passionate about pro-life values? Caring Network has been serving the Chicagoland area for 40 years. We come alongside women facing an unplanned pregnancy by providing emotional support, spiritual counsel, and practical services. There are many ways you can volunteer to support our work, even in this virtual era. Email volunteer@caringnetwork.com to find out more!