Volunteering ideas for a handicapped retiree
March 10, 2021 5:40 AM   Subscribe

I have a surgically fixed ankle/lower leg. Thus, I cannot walk a lot nor stand a lot. I'm looking for something appropriate to volunteer for. Any ideas?
posted by tmdonahue to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any other clues - what are your interests/causes you're passionate about? What skills can you offer? Where are you located? Can you drive and do you have a vehicle?

The most obvious thing is that many small charities would appreciate administrative help, which can be done sitting down. But more information about you will help people give you better answers!
posted by penguin pie at 5:53 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

ESL tutoring?
posted by VirginiaPlain at 6:22 AM on March 10, 2021

Some of the mass vaccination sites need people for data-entry types of tasks (so badly that in some places they are HIRING people to do this). Maybe check there?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:24 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

Food pantries are the most meaningful volunteering I've seen. You could pretty easily take a shift while sitting.
posted by bbqturtle at 6:24 AM on March 10, 2021

Community fridge cleaning / restocking -- from what I can tell from my local fridge's insta, there are a number of checkins during the day to make sure things haven't be trashed and clean out any non-approved donation items. If you have a means of transportation to get to a fridge, probably wouldn't be much walking involved once you are there.
posted by chiefthe at 6:43 AM on March 10, 2021

It depends on where you live, but any time there is a local or national election there's always a need for people to help at polling stations. People are needed for various roles, including being on your feet, but also to check names off a list and give out voting cards, and that work is normally done sitting at a table.

It's not charity volunteering, but it's definitely civic-minded volunteering.
posted by underclocked at 6:52 AM on March 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

volunteermatch, your local United Way, Community Action Program, possibly Foster Grandparent. What interests you? What skills do you have? What non-profits exist in your area? Many agencies would appreciate a volunteer who can do spreadsheets, organize other volunteers, make phone calls, etc. Many schools/ students would benefit from volunteer tutors, homework helpers.
posted by theora55 at 6:59 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Almost agency that does direct services will need people to help with data entry--my agency hosts lots of education events and it takes a huge amount of time to record all the different attendees and their demographic info. We adore these volunteers and they are hard to find; lots of people don't think of that as an option and/or don't think it sounds exciting or "helping" enough, but it's essential!

If you're interested in a more interactive, front-facing role, would you want to facilitate support groups or connect people for mutual aid? Both of those are very needed roles in my community, for many different populations/needs.
posted by assenav at 8:33 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Our local animal recue groups are always looking for people to take or just post photos of the animals on Petfinder and social media, to screen emails from adopters, etc.
My library does Partners in Reading where you sit and let an elementary school kid read to you an hour a week as literacy practice.
posted by assenav at 8:37 AM on March 10, 2021

Vote Forward is still up and running and will be opening up new projects soon. You need to print letter templates and purchase postage stamps (I order mine online), but you can do it sitting on your couch in your pajamas if you want!
posted by bookmammal at 9:40 AM on March 10, 2021

My mother in her later years volunteered at the local school to read to Kindergarteners and 1st graders. Read aloud. Story time. Quite frankly, it was the highlight of her day/week.
posted by AugustWest at 9:50 AM on March 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Maybe a CASA/ GAL?
posted by oceano at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2021

The Augustine Literacy Project trains volunteers to deliver structured phonics lessons to children. I have found it very rewarding. It's different from being a reading buddy because you do have to prepare ahead of time.

Another idea, if you enjoy animals, is volunteering at your local animal shelter as a cat socializer. Basically you just pet cats and play with them.
posted by tuesdayschild at 12:43 PM on March 10, 2021

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