Are you looking for a super-easy way to volunteer at home? Do you love to write notes or letters? Making cards with short notes or writing letters is an easy, fun way to earn those volunteer hours. If you love to write, color, or use stickers, then this idea might be right up your alley! It’s also relatively inexpensive, especially if you have some markers or stickers lying around your home. Maybe a younger sibling has some of those supplies for school, or your mom has leftover scrapbooking supplies. If you don’t have any stickers or markers, just a pen and paper will do. Of course, you don’t have to decorate your handwritten note, a kind sentiment is enough.
Who wants written cards or letters? There are several non-profits that love getting letters. My suggestion is to pick the organization that is meaningful to you. Does the military or first responders hold a place in your heart? What about senior citizens? Or how about children? Figure out which group resonates with you, because that will help you continue writing when you feel like maybe you have hit a wall. Below I have listed a few organizations to choose from, however, I know there are more.
Volunteer At Home Organizations
Cards for Military / First Responders
Their mission is to honor the service of our Military and First Responders by creating opportunities to express gratitude. They send care packages to both groups. Within each package they include a handwritten note or card. If you are not sure what to write, you can create notecards that the deployed troops can use themselves to write letters to friends and family back in the states. Check out their website for further details:
Here is another organization that sends letters to the military. They started in 2003 by a mom whose son was deployed to Iraq. Their motto is “May No Soldier Go Unloved.”
Cards for Senior Citizens
Local Assisted Living Complex
My local senior assisted living complex loves cards for the residents that arrive around the holidays. For example, in early-mid December, they love receiving cards with a Happy New Year theme. In late October, they love receiving cards with a Thanksgiving theme. We have written cards for Easter and Christmas, but in general, try to avoid religion to make sure your cards are appropriate for anyone. I would reach out to the complex first to see if they have a specific holiday preference or need.
Love for our Elders
As the name suggests, this organizations coordinates letters for senior citizens. A Yale graduate started this organization in 2013. On the website they list people you can write to for that month. In addition, they give the individual’s back story, which is helpful when trying to figure out what to write.
This organization is based out of Canada, so if you live in the United States, be prepared to spend a little more on postage to get your cards delivered. Their mission is to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness of senior citizens. Check out their website for more details:
Cards for Children
Letters for Destiny
Letters for Destiny was started by two students in North Carolina. Their goal is just to put a smile on children’s faces. When they receive your cards, they will send them to Children’s hospitals across the country. They will even send you a certificate when you have completed volunteer hours you need. This certificate is especially nice if you are a high school student trying to earn volunteer hours for a school organization that requires volunteer hours. You know that they have that built into their process, so that is a plus. Check out their Instagram page at @lettersfordestiny for more details.
Volunteer at Home : More Ideas
Letters Against Depression
This organization send letters to all over the globe. They want letters that are two pages in length. Check out their website if you have a way with words!
Volunteer at Home : Hours Credit
If you are a student trying to get volunteer hours credit, make sure you know what proof your school organization requires. In addition, ask the non-profit organization what documentation they can provide. Some places have this built into the process, but some do not. If you need proof of hours, make sure you pick an organization that can give you the documentation you need.
Volunteer at Home Supplies
Below is a list of optional supplies. Choose what you prefer!
- pen or pencil
- markers, colored pencils or pens
- 8.5 x 11 inch cardstock paper, plain blank notecards or notecards that already have a decorated front
- stickers (optional)
- paper cutter (if not buying notecards)
- sandwich bags (to put each card in, this may or may not be necessary, check with the organization)
You can buy the notecards or make them using 100 lb to 110 lb cardstock paper. See below for some options to buy online. Remember, if you choose to make them from cardstock you will need to buy the envelopes as well.
Make Cards from Cardstock or Buying Notecards
If you choose to make the cards using paper, I have some suggestions. First, buy a ream of paper that is 8.5 x 11 inches. Second, cut the paper in half so you will have two 8.5 x 5.5 inch a pieces of paper. Lastly, fold those pieces one time to make two 4.25 x 5.5 inch cards. The cardstock makes it feel more like a card versus printer paper that is light and flimsy. Don’t forget the envelopes! A perfect envelopes to buy for 4.25 x 5.5 inch card, is the A2 size which is 4 3/8 x 5 3/4.
Tip: If you want to get fancy, score the paper before you fold it. There are plenty of YouTube videos that will show you how to do score paper.
Obviously, buying the cards is a little easier. You can find blank notecards at Target, Walmart, Amazon, etc.. I suggest that the cards be simple, so your decorations stand out. This option will likely cost you about twice what it costs to make your own. The advantage to buying the cards is you don’t have extra supplies (usually paper) when you are finished.
Volunteer at Home Final Tips
- Legible writing – use your best handwriting, don’t rush through this. No one wants scribbles!
- Don’t print the letter – that’s not personal
- No glitter – too messy
- Avoid politics
- Avoid religious references
- Make them colorful, add a drawing or a crossword or sudoku puzzle
- Be kind and thoughtful
Make sure you know if the organization requires the note to be enclosed in a plastic bag. I usually buy the Target or Walmart sandwich bags, they are in expensive but get the job done. For most of the options in this post, you will need to mail your cards to the organization and they will take care of getting them to the individual people. Just check the websites for mailing instructions.