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New Ways to Volunteer in Your Community and Beyond


If you want to help a local non-profit organization, but are strapped for time, making a difference is easier than ever. In fact, there are a variety of new ways you can make an impact in your community even from your computer or mobile device, as a “virtual volunteer.”

Go Viral

You’ve probably heard about the recent ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The movement not only raised awareness about an important cause, it also raised an impressive sum of money.

The viral success of this campaign means that good deed doers can expect similar projects to crop up down the line. If all you need is an internet connection and a few spare minutes, then most anyone can help raise awareness for a cause they’re passionate about. Be on the lookout for the next opportunity or get creative and start your own campaign.

Nominate Your Cause

As an individual, you may not have the means to bestow a large donation upon your favorite charitable organization, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help out in a big way.

“If you’re inspired by the work of a non-profit and want to say thanks, there’s now a simple way to get involved,” says Susan Dewhirst, goodness programs manager at Tom’s of Maine.

Through the month of September, you can nominate a non-profit that’s making a difference for people and the planet through the annual Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” program. This year, the company is rewarding an organization in every state and the District of Columbia with $10,000 in funding, providing more than $500,000 for grassroots community projects. You can find additional information and a nomination form at

Show Support, Remotely

This year, the Tom’s of Maine “50 States for Good” program is also spotlighting a project that aims to revitalize a distressed park in Detroit. Anyone can show support with just a few clicks by helping decide what new items should go into the park, such as a swing set, art installation, upcycled benches or a basketball court, among other items. Like, share and post your social support for the project by visiting and follow the park’s progress at

Make Connections Online

One-on-one tutoring is one of the most useful ways to help children succeed academically. But traditional face-to-face tutoring requires more than just the one productive hour of instruction since the commute is a factor as well. Look into online tutoring programs that eliminate that hurdle. For example, TutorChatLive recruits volunteers to remotely tutor underserved students.

Even if you’re busy, new avenues for giving back are making it possible for anyone to make a positive contribution.

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