“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” — Helen Keller
We are living in challenging times. COVID-19 has changed the way we look at the world and the way we operate. Work from home has become the new normal, and staying indoors 24/7 can take an immense toll on mental well-being. It is important to combat depression and reduce the feeling of loneliness that comes with limited social interactions. The pandemic has shaken the roots of mankind.
How to make a difference during this lockdown
Instead of browsing aimlessly on social media, binge-watching web series in the loop, or feeling depressed with the news broadcast, invest your time in doing something productive. Humanity thrives on hope, things will get better eventually. We need to keep our outlook positive and work towards developing our skills, molding ourselves with the changing times, and living each day with zeal.
Volunteering for a cause close to your heart and doing something good for others can instill a sense of fulfillment and happiness. However, under the current circumstances, we cannot volunteer in person due to the lockdown. Thankfully, just like work from home, there are options for virtual volunteering. There are numerous ways in which you can make a difference while setting an example for your kids, your peers, and those around you. Translating your passion and skills to help others will bring you immense joy and contentment.
A Personal Journey
During this COVID-19 pandemic, I spend my time making reusable masks to distribute to the homeless and share video tutorials to encourage others to make the same. My family also participates in spreading awareness about social distancing and precautionary measures against COVID by recording and uploading easy-to-understand videos on social media.
My journey with virtual volunteering began over a decade ago when I took a break from my career for child care. I loved to read to my little one and would make funny sounds as I recited stories. A friend of mine asked me to record a few stories for the blind school she worked at. I was more than happy to do it. Few weeks down the line, I happened to visit the school and saw how happy the kids were when they heard these recordings. It was as if the narration was helping them visualize the story. The inspiration stayed with me – a small contribution brought smiles to many faces. Eventually, when it was time to get back to work, I knew what my heart really wanted. Ever since I have been part of the CSR team with many corporates and business houses.
Now, I continue to volunteer with local NGOs. Simple things like digitizing records for the community library, designing brochures to drive animal adoption, initiate fundraising for shelter homes and more keep me occupied and connected with my passion to contribute for a good cause. And in doing these, I never had to leave my desk. Most of the work was being done from the comfort of my home.
The feel-good factor you experience when you help people is indescribable. Helping others has brought me happiness and a sense of fulfillment.
Corporate Social Responsibility – An Integral Part of the System
CSR is an indispensable part of every organization. It exhibits the company’s commitment to the betterment of society and the responsibility towards the local environment. If you’re wondering how to make the time for volunteering between team meetings and your daily work responsibilities, fret not! Even as an employee, you can contribute by volunteering as a part of your organization. Once you decide to be a part of CSR activities, there are teams to help you translate your intentions into reality. The existing skill sets are developed and shared for the greater good. This can create a positive impact on your career enhancement prospects.
In recent years, corporates have played an important role in the betterment of society. Employees have been actively participating in volunteer activities through their employes, who often give paid time off to volunteer. Some examples of these activities include:
- Establishing schools for underprivileged kids
- skill-enhancement training for the local communities
- Teaching at community college
- Organizing collection drives
With the COVID lockdown, volunteering in person is a challenge, but this can be resolved with virtual volunteering. Connect with like-minded people and enhance your social skills with a virtual team of volunteers. The positive interaction can help you relieve stress and improve your mental health.
An Avenue to Virtual Volunteering
Platforms like Goodera are committed to many beautiful causes such as:
- Educating a girl child
- Digitizing manuscripts for the preservation of our heritage and history
- Creating pre-recorded sessions for school kids
- Translation of material to different languages
Be a part of a virtual volunteering team. Contribute your time as per your convenience and comfort level. Get in touch with your company’s HR or CSR team to register with platforms such as Goodera as a virtual volunteer. If you have the will to volunteer, you can make a huge difference!