By Basil Sadiq and Tess Srebro
As the aftermath of this month’s shootings continue to unfold, many of us at VolunteerMatch are having a hard time keeping silent. We know it’s times like these where we can look to our community of nonprofits and volunteers, and find comfort in their unified message: helping one another. While we understand there are countless tragedies of violence also unfolding around the world, the focus of this blog post is to emphasize contributions we can make right here in the United States.
Our mission at VolunteerMatch is, “To make it easy for good people and good causes to connect,” a sentiment that has propelled us forward since our humble beginnings. Now, during times like these, our mission seems jeopardized—as though the definition of “good” were up for interpretation.
So, we began asking ourselves, “How can we bring ‘good’ back to its roots—and strip the word down to its true meaning?” Fortunately, our values haven’t been shaken: we still believe in universal “good”. And we believe the definition boils down to understanding empathy— an unselfish act, a willingness to put ourselves in others’ shoes, to lift each other up. It’s refusing to buy into stereotypes that pass judgment and threaten our peace.
Most importantly, it’s helping by volunteering, wherever, and whenever you can.
If you’re struggling to make sense of the chaos (like we are), we ask that you join us in overcoming fear and feelings of helplessness. We’ve curated a list of resources*, each with multiple volunteer opportunities where you can volunteer for a cause that’s working hard to fight hate and build stronger communities.
- Volunteer to Serve as a Role Model in a Child’s Life
“The children are our future” is cliche for a reason. Let’s set a positive example for the next generation. From promoting STEM and technology opportunities to underprivileged kids, to empowering young adults through mentorship and leadership development, we uncovered 10 organizations on VolunteerMatch where you can volunteer locally and/or virtually to make a difference:
- Volunteer to Promote Peace through Cultural Understanding
Help promote peace by promoting dialogue that spreads knowledge. We researched and found 180 opportunities that’ll help you do just that—from curating Black history encyclopedia entries to supporting cultural institutions around the country—we encourage you to volunteer for one of these opportunities to help increase cultural understanding.
- Volunteer to Support Emergency & Safety Efforts in Your Community
Doing good is a two-way street. By supporting America’s emergency and safety efforts, you’ll help initiate open and honest two-way conversations. Check out these 8 organizations that feature opportunities to give back to America’s law enforcement programs .
We hope these opportunities lay the groundwork for ways you can help disarm hate. Together, let’s volunteer to change the world. Together, let’s be good to each other.
*This is not a comprehensive list. If you do not see your organization on the list, feel free share in the comments below!