Virtual Volunteer Work & the President’s Volunteer Service Award
Three-and-a-half months remain for homeschoolers to earn this year’s President’s Volunteer Service Award through Compass!
The landscape for volunteering this spring and summer has drastically changed with COVID-19. Kids and teens who planned to volunteer at camps, historic sites, libraries, parks, and community projects have found that their opportunities have vanished.
But all is not lost! Can you photograph clouds, count insects in your backyard, or enter data on the computer? There are still many, different kinds of volunteer opportunities available. From participating in scientific and nature studies to recording audio books and letter writing campaigns, there are virtual and at-home volunteer opportunities available. Teens, remember that colleges are still going to want to see your community involvement and awards! Read below for a partial list of ideas on what you can do this year to earn the PVSA.
If you are interested in earning the PVSA recognition, please read all Compass program details including dates, how to document your work, and what kinds of volunteer work you can do. Remember that Compass will certify the PVSA for area homeschooled students, including those who do not attend Compass classes. Students should sign up (no cost) to let us know you are working on the award and to receive PVSA-specific reminders. Our many friends who attend public and private schools but find themselves at home this summer do not qualify for a Compass-sponsored award but can use the ideas below and check with their base schools in the fall.
- Science/NatureZooniverse, SciStarter, or Citizenscience.gov: Online citizen scientist projects in biology, ecology, astronomy, physics, health/medicine
National Geographic and Scientific American: Online citizen scientist projects in biology, astronomy, ecology
Fish & Wildlife Service and Cornell University: Bird watching
Globe at Night: Constellation observations
NASA’s S’Cool: Cloud observation
- Language/CommunicationStoritime and CDH “Adopt a Grandparent”: Read to/communicate with seniors through video calls
BooksShare.org and Librivox: Record audio books for the disabled
TEDTalks: Translate and subtitle TEDTalks lectures
Be My Eyes: Communicate with blind/low vision individuals
Project Gutenberg: Proofreading e-books
Smithsonian: Transcribing historical documents
Translators Without Borders: translate documents for international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health and education.
- At Home Projects
- Social Justice/PoliticalUnited Nations Online Volunteers: connects you with organizations working for peace and development
Amnesty Decoders: conduct research into global human rights violations
DoSomething.org: empowers young people to enact social change both online or off
CatchaFire.org: virtual volunteer matching in for organizations that need help with business strategy, design & media, finance, marketing, technology and more.
Voter Registration: many state and local party organizations seek volunteers to call or write letters encouraging voter registration.
In addition, Points of Light, the organization that administers the PVSA, maintains a list of virtual volunteer opportunities. Have you found additional virtual volunteer roles? If so, please share so we can continue to build our list of opportunities. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no cost to the homeschooled recipient to earn the PVSA award. Costs of the award are funded by donations and the sale of donated merchandise in the Compass Shop. Check today for discounted, new curricula and educational materials, games/kits, fine art prints, and music CDs.