The coronavirus is here and we’re all stuck at home. Social distancing is our best bet at beating this beast of a virus and that means most of our volunteer efforts have come to a crashing halt. You may be wondering what this means for your career goals of becoming a child life specialist.
The basis to becoming a child life specialist is centered around paid/volunteer experiences with children and if you’re stuck in your house for the foreseeable future – how can you best be using your time?
Here is a list that I’ve compiled on ways to still volunteer and build your resume from the comfort of your couch!
The Trevor Project
This is an amazing organization that provides support virtually through text or call to LGBTQ youth. Volunteers are available to help children with issues such as coming out, LGBTQ identity, depression and suicide.
For more information on The Trevor Project, click here
Crisis Text Line
This volunteer opportunity is for the people who stay up way too late or the people who are up bright and early! The Crisis Text Line needs volunteers specifically between their peak hours of 10pm and 6am EST (7pm – 3am PST).
By volunteering four hours a week, you’ll accumulate almost 200 hours in a year!
Necessary skills include active listening, problem solving and helping people learn proper coping techniques unique to them and their situation. Skills like these are crucial to becoming a child life specialist.
For more information on the Crisis Text Line, click here
VIPKid is a virtual classroom where you can teach English to children in China. You can set your own schedule, teach one-on-one and the best part is you get paid. Hello paid position! This only happens once in a blue moon for child life students so take those paid experiences whenever you can!
For more information on VIPKid, click here
Looking for experience with the adolescent population? 7 Cups provides emotional support to teens struggling with a variety of topics! The trainings they will provide you with are all free. All you need is internet access to get started.
For more information regarding 7 Cups, click here
Be My Eyes
Be my eyes is an app on your phone that allows blind/low vision people to connect with you and ask for help with what’s in front of them that they cannot see. While you may not be called upon often, this would still be a neat thing to include on a resume. Rather than “hours” tracked, I would track your interactions instead. i.e., “have assisted four individuals in the last year”
For more information regarding Be My Eyes, click here
What a neat organization! This volunteer experience is a once a week, one-hour commitment that allows you to connect with a group of students with limited resources across the globe.
During your hour with the students, you’ll be encouraging, teaching, and leading them in an activity – sounds like virtual child life therapeutic play sessions to me! I love it!
For more information regarding Granny Cloud, click here
Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Become a volunteer at the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and be available to talk to people in their most desperate and challenging times. Active listening, a calm demeanor, and the ability to not take work home with you are an absolute must!
For more information regarding the Suicide Prevention Lifeline and to get plugged in with a crisis center near you, click here
Interested in becoming a mentor to a high school student online? Time commitment for this is at least one-hour per week. Easy! You’ll help students from low-income communities make decisions about their future and provide them with feedback and support.
For more information on how to become an iCouldBe Mentor, click here
How else can you volunteer?
Head over to one of these three websites to find out how you can volunteer specifically within your community!
Stay safe, best of luck and on your next venture out of the house, grab yourself a donut to remind yourself that you DO know what to do next!