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volunteers organising a food bank service for marginalised people

Christmas is a special period to volunteer as people have more free time or simply want to experience some real solidarity. It is a way to give back what we have not managed to do during the year and we are all eager to put ourselves engaged in small actions.

However, how to plan what to do? Where can you check where to volunteer?

Some simple steps:

  1. Decide what you really care about and get informed.
  2. Start checking specialised platforms or, usually, big known organisations (Action Aid, Save the Children, Amnesty International and others).
  3. Maybe, you really want something simple that can adjust to your full schedule. In this way, you can probably to consider it as a usual activity also for the rest of the year.
  4. Engage your friends. Being together is more interesting and you can share good memories for the future.
  5. Be open. Remember that your work will support people, organisations and causes, so you can learn a lot of things!
  6. If you do not have really any time left, when you buy presents, support other volunteers preparing the boxes or asking for support. Becoming a volunteer is a matter of attitude.
  7. Consider digital platforms – if you are a graphic designer, or an ICT, a social media manager, you might consider to give some hours to create a leaflet, to support a cause, or to code some bits. This is called ‘digital volunteering‘. Not bad, uh?

From our side, we have contributed to the Food Bank work, together with the Civil Protection body.

volunteers organising food bank service for marginalised groups
focus group digital volunteers

Why do you need volunteers to go digital? This is a question that many associations have asked to us and we think there is an answer to give.

Volunteers are not just local force for local causes. In fact, they should act globally developing skills and competencies relevant for nowadays world. As such, volunteering is an essential step to be part of society. In this way, digital does not only mean to be connected via social networks and tell out loud what your organisation is doing. It also means to use technologies to create a clear shift toward the ‘making‘ approach.

What is more, volunteers are not just consumers of experiences, but they are rather experience makers. For this reason, we have supported a special Erasmus plus project called “Raise Volunteers in Tech” or #Raivotech. The project focuses on the creation of high quality training material about digital volunteers and youth workers. In this sense, an important figure has emerged: the digital youth worker. As figure, he/she is able to combine different human dimensions, virtual and offline.

A great tool is the Raivotech platform for digital volunteers based on innovative and very practical training material that can be a good chance to have a certificated experience.