volunteer from home

Opportunities to volunteer from home are growing big time. Let me show you 5 ways to touch someone's life from the comfort of your couch.

Do you love completing charity projects, but just not all that excited to leave your home to do so? Actually, it's a little counter-intuitive to think that you could complete a charity project in the comfort of your own home.

But I'm here to tell you that it's entirely possible to volunteer from home!

Here are 5 volunteer from home opportunities you can complete from the comfort of your couch.

Charity Project #1: Bring Cheer to People with Illnesses

I'm huge on letter-writing. I think it's an art that is going extinct. I mean, think about it: how exciting is it to receive an actual letter when you open your mailbox?

Super exciting.

Here's an opportunity to send smiles through snail mail:

  • Girls Love Mail: Right now as I type this and as you read this, there are thousands of people battling cancer in centers and programs around the United States. Be part of the 2017 Miles of Mail campaign and help them collect 26,000 letters to send to women who have been newly diagnosed with breast cancer. They could definitely use some positivity, the kind that comes from knowing a complete stranger cares about their struggles.

Charity Project #2: Contribute to People-Powered Research

Dying to semi-use that biology or environmental studies degree from college?

Zooniverse is an amazing platform for what's called People Powered Research (aka Citizen Scientists). Basically, there are a ton of environmental + animal projects scientists would love to collect data on and monitor throughout the world. But you know what? There just aren't enough resources to collect all the data, nor to do anything with the data once it's there.

Through many initiatives, you can both collect data from home, as well as help process it so that actions can be taken by the professionals.

At any point in time there are tons of projects (50+ at the moment) that you can take part in.

Some notable ones interesting to me are:

  • Milky Way Project: Help to map out our galaxy. What this really means is sifting through hundreds and thousands of images from the from the Spitzer Space Telescope and WISE satellite observatory to do things like catalogue bubbles, bow shocks, and yellowballs (your guess is as good as mine). Go to “Learning the Ropes” to get some training before starting.
  • Decoding the Civil War: Your mission is to digitize and transcribe the Union Army telegrams fromThe Thomas T. Eckert Papers to help bring this historical event alive.
  • WildCam Gorongosa: Decades of war have decimated Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique's biodiversity. They'd like help in identifying animals in trail camera photos in order to help conservation efforts.

Charity Project #3: Champion Military Families by Clipping Expired Coupons

My husband was in the military (Navy, cryptologist), and so we are both very aware of the not-so-great pay. While military families have lots of services to help them, they still need help to juggle all their financial obligations.

One way you can help is by clipping coupons and even expired coupons to send to military bases around the world. That's because coupons expired by up to 6 months can still be used on base grocery stores.

You'll want to follow the instructions on this page when completing this project.

Charity Project #4: Click to Donate

Next time you're vegging out in front of the tube, wishing you could volunteer from home (in PJs, no less) take out your smart phone and get to work donating to a cause of your choice (for free, I might add).

This works because advertisers pay to display their ads on the site, then you go to the site and click (the click has nothing to do with the advertiser, fyi).

  • Click to Donate Sites: There are tons of charities that get donations when you click on a button on their site, and here's a huge list of them. A couple of my favorites include The Hunger Site and the Rescue Animals site.
  • Clicanimaux: Your clicks donate food and protection to stray animals in France (you'll need to translate the site).

Charity Project #5: Log your Walks

Okay, okay. I know I said “volunteer from home”, but this one doesn't have to be further than a block away.

We go for tons of walks in our household. It's one of the best ways to make our 16-month old happy, plus introduce him to the great outdoors. And I only recently figured out that I could download an app, CharityMiles.org, and log my miles for donations to Wounded Warrior (among other charities you can choose from). I've been doing so every since (huge thanks to my husband, Paul, for setting it up for me in about three minutes! It's part of the way I've found to get paid to walk).

Here's a way to log your own miles for donation dollars to your favorite animal shelters:

  • WoofTrax: Volunteer from home by walking your dog! Download the Walk for a Dog app, then each time you walk your dog click the “start walking” button. Your miles are logged and turn into donations for animal shelters around the U.S. Available on both Android as well as iPhone.
  • ResqWalk: At the beginning of every month this site announces a new amount of cash available from their ResQsponsors they've got. If you want it for your fave organization, then download the app, select a ResQpartner and press start. Your walking, running or biking counts, “as long as the activity can be measured by GPS and involves a speed of less than 14 mph.” By the end of the month the dough is divided proportionally to the charities based on the number of miles logged in their name. There are also bonus challenges throughout the month that result in donations of things like pet toys + treats.

What charity project from above can you squeeze into your routine at home? I'd love to hear in the comments below. Or do you know of other charity projects you can complete from home? Share them with the rest of us.

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