Are you looking for some easy virtual volunteer ideas for students in high school? This post will show you 10 great ways to get those volunteer hours.
1. Letter / Card Writing
If you love to write, color, or use stickers, this idea might be right up your alley! This is a relatively inexpensive idea, especially if you have some markers or stickers lying around your home. If you don’t have 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. Do 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:
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2. Paracord Bracelets
Another great virtual volunteer ideas is to make paracord bracelets for Operation Gratitude. It’s so easy and it takes about 5 minutes to make just one. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily make them while binge-watching your favorite show.
100 ft of 550 paracord typically will cost anywhere from $9 -$11. A great place to buy is either eBay or Amazon. Each bracelet is made with 7.5 feet of cord. You can make 13 bracelets with 100ft of paracord.
3. No Sew Dog Toys for Animal Shelter
Lots of animal shelters need toys for dogs while they are waiting to be adopted. This keeps dogs from getting bored while waiting for their forever home. Shelters need lots of these because the toys need to be replaced often. Who wants to adopt a dog when they are chewing on dirty old toys? Contact your local animal shelter to double-check they will accept handmade toys before getting started. This is easy to do while watching a movie!
You would need 1-4 different colors of material (fleece or t-shirt) and it ideally should be 24″ to 36″ long. Cut the material so you have 4 strips of equal size that are 1-2″ wide by 24-36″ long. There are plenty of YouTube videos that show exactly how to make these toys. Keep in mind they might be using a different size of fabric, but the process is the same. The end result is a tug toy that the dogs will love!
Here are a couple of good videos to check out:
Do you like to do research? Zooniverse is one of the virtual volunteer ideas that might be just right for you. This allows you to help with ongoing research projects by analyzing photos or videos for certain characteristics.
One project might have you looking at photos of Mars to help determine weather patterns. Another might be identifying if animals are in the photos to help determine if certain plants are affecting their habitat. You might even transcribe old written documents.
No special training is necessary. Zooniverse has many people looking at the same data to draw upon the wisdom of crowds.
5. Beads of Courage Bags
Beads of Courage is a non-profit that helps children & teens that are dealing with serious illnesses. Their goal is to help kids that are getting various medical procedures to have the courage to face each one of them.
If you like to sew or even want to learn, this is a perfect project for you. You do need a sewing machine though, so make you have one of those accessible to you. The bags you sew will be used for kids to collect the beads that represent all of their different medical procedures.
You will need the following items for this virtual volunteer idea:
- sewing machine
- fabric (2 different patterns in a kid theme)
- ribbon for a drawstring at the top of the bag (3/8″ grosgrain or satin works well)
- thread for sewing
- the Beads of Courage labels (50 labels cost $10.00)
The first thing to remember is you need two different pieces of fabric, one for the outside of the bag and one for the inside. Typically, most yards of fabric are 45″ wide, then 2 yards of fabric should make 14-15 bags. If buying from Amazon, you can expect to pay on average around $6-$7 per yard. So if your fabric is 45″ wide, then you can make approximately 14 bags for approximately $25 of fabric.
The cost of the ribbon will likely run around .04 to .06 cents per foot. You will need two 26″ pieces of ribbon for each bag, so I would recommend buying spools of ribbon that are close to evenly divisible by 52″ to reduce waste. 18 feet of ribbon in one spool will cost around $5, which will be enough for 4 bags.
|Amount of Material||Average Cost Per Unit||Total Cost||# Bags Made|
|4 Yards of 45″ Fabric||$6-7 per yard||$24-28||14|
|4 Spools of 18 feet of Ribbon||$4-5 per 18 foot spool||$16-20||16|
Unfortunately, you will likely have a little bit of waste of either ribbon or fabric. I recommend determining how many bags you want to make before going out and buying materials. Joanns or Michaels stores are great places to buy materials because they usually have coupons. Another thought…since the Beads of Courage labels come in sets of 50, you might consider splitting this project with a friend.
6. Knit Scarves or Hats
If you are a crafty type of person, this idea might be the one for you. During the winter months, Operation Gratitude loves to receive handmade scarves and hats to include in their care packages to the troops. Of course, you can make them year-round! Even if you have never crocheted or knitted something, you might give this a try. It’s pretty easy, once you get the hang of it.
I would recommend to starting with a knitting loom. The round looms are great for hats and scarves, and the straight ones are great for scarves. You can probably knit a hat on a straight loom, but my gut is a round one is better for the hats. Go straight to YouTube if you need a tutorial. The LoomaHat YouTube channel is a great resource. Trust me…you can do this!
7. No Sew Fleece Blankets
There are lots of organizations that appreciate receiving no-sew fleece blankets. These blankets are one of the easiest virtual volunteer ideas for students. Here are a few places that might need a homemade blanket:
- local children’s hospital
- local animal shelter
- local Project Linus chapter
Contact your local organization to make sure they are currently accepting blankets. In addition, verify that you have a large clean surface that will be free of pet hair before starting making the blankets. Lastly, find out the size of blanket that’s needed.
If you want to save a few dollars, I recommend just buying the two pieces of fabric, not the kits. The kits are typically more expensive. You can find the fabric at your local craft stores such as Joanns, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or some Walmarts carry fleece as well. Amazon is also an option, of course.
If you are in high school, then there is likely someone that you can tutor. Check to see if your high school has any tutoring programs in the subjects that you feel the strongest. Often times if you are in National Honor Society or Science National Honor Society there will be opportunities to tutor through those organizations.
Another option would be to reach out to the middle school you attended. I suggest emailing one of the counselors. They will be able to point you in the correct direction.
If you are strong in math, see if your school partners with an organization called Intellichoice. They provide free math tutoring to children in need.
9. Decorate Lunch Bags
Are passionate about feeding the people in our society that are hungry? This is one of the virtual volunteer ideas for students that will contribute to the happiness of those who need a healthy meal. Imagine if you didn’t know where or when you would get your next meal. Next, think about how you would feel if you received a decorated lunch bag from a caring volunteer. It would feel more like a gift.
This is another one of those projects that you could easily do while watching a movie or your favorite Netflix show. All you need are some markers, crayons, and a pack of lunch bags.
Below are two great organizations that would appreciate your help decorating lunch bags. For Meals on Wheels, check to see if your local MOW will accept bags, the link below is for the Minneapolis affiliate.
10. Host a Fundraiser
Last but not least, you can always host an online fundraiser. Pick a non-profit that has some significance to your life. Maybe you have a grandparent with Alzheimer’s, a sibling who was in the hospital or maybe you know a family that is struggling with basic needs. Below are some organizations that make it very easy to host a fundraiser. Their websites give clear instructions on how to set up the fundraiser or hold a drive. Once you have it set up, all you have to do is spread the word.
How do you spread the word? Here are some ideas:
- Post on social media
- Post on your neighborhood’s Nextdoor page
- Post a flyer in your apartment complex front office (ask first, of course)
- Email your school counselor to see if maybe the school could promote it
- Ask your parents to tell their friends or co-workers
- Tell your friends
Even if you only raise a couple of hundred dollars, that is more money than the organization had before your fundraiser. Every dollar helps! You never know, your fundraiser may surprise you and you might raise thousands. You don’t know until you try.