In this article, we will discuss some online volunteering opportunities which can create an impact during COVID-19 crises.
Become a Crises Counselor
The first thing that you can do is to become a crisis counselor. All you need to do is to visit the Crisis Text Line or Grace’s List.
The current COVID-19 has resulted in mental stress for many people. So here is the opportunity for you to become a crisis counselor. So let’s discuss how you can become a crisis counselor.
The mental health impacts of COVID-19 will outlast the actual virus itself. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to share this one with you. There are free 24/7 text lines for people that are in a crisis in the United States and it’s serviced by volunteers that work remotely.
You can work as an online volunteer anywhere with a computer and secure internet connection. Crisis counselors answer texts from people that are in crisis bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning.
In order to become a crisis counselor, there is some training involved in 30 hours. You’ll walk away knowing reflexive listening collaborative problem-solving and crisis management and these are skills that will help in your personal relationships as well. You can train from anywhere being your pajamas you can be in a coffee shop it doesn’t matter.
One of the great things about this is that you can put this on a resume on a job application a college application. When the rest of the country is sleeping two-thirds of our crisis situations occur at night. So their greatest need for counselors is between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
The volunteers commit to four hours per week until 200 hours are reached. Ideally, they would like for you to fulfill your commitment within one year. Before you begin as a counselor you’ll also complete a training period to give you all of the expertise that you need to successfully and empathetically navigate crisis intervention.
This training is free for you but it costs them 1008 dollars to train each counselor so they want counselors to see the training through to the end and serve out their 200-hour commitment. Many of their counselors are in volunteer leadership positions and they also get the first crack at any internships or job openings that they have. This is also an opportunity to hone your skills and communication counseling and envision and you’ll also be working alongside volunteers who are also social workers therapists and psychologists which can, in turn, sharpen your crisis management skills.
They accept applications on a rolling basis and they begin new training cohorts weekly. But space is limited in order to apply you it needs to be at least 18 and have a United States Social Security number and you must also submit to references.
Also, to volunteer, you must have access to reliable internet access and a personal computer. The process would complete the 30-minute crisis counselor application and consent to a background check. You would need to complete the 30-hour web-based crisis counseling and intervention training and then step 3 you would take your first counseling shift and start changing lives.
This is the moment that a person would text when they’re ready to reach out to a crisis counselor.
Become a Translator
The next online volunteering opportunity is to become a Translator. We have translators without Borders. They depend on volunteers to translate millions of words but also to help them run the organization. They work with volunteers who have all types of skills and many will learn new skills that they can use in jobs in the future.
You can volunteer with translators without Borders if you are fluent in at least one language other than your native language. They have over 30,000 translators and many of them are donating their time to help people access COVID-19 information in their native language. They’ve received an unprecedented amount of requests from small local organizations that are desperate to translate the information for their non-english speaking community members. Examples include translating travel ban information for refugees and immigrants into Chinese and Korean, translating what social distancing means into Spanish, and translating infection prevention.
If you speak a language that not a lot of people speak, rumors may be the only information that’s available in your native language. You can have access to all of the information out there but if you can’t read it how was it going to help. What they say on translators without Borders is that we’re not just fighting an epidemic we’re fighting infotainment they’re using language to help people access health-related information.