How to volunteer this season without leaving your desk

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house…was disastrous mess of wrapping paper, unfinished projects, shopping lists, reminder notes, and preparations for relatives coming for a visit.

Is it any wonder that eggnog is the drink of choice during this crazy time of year?

You might think that there is absolutely no way to make room in your crazy schedule for a little volunteer work. But you would be very wrong. For starters, researchers have just completed a study that shows the best time to give some of your precious time away is exactly when you don’t think you have enough. Why? Because it makes you more productive. In addition to that, volunteering connects you with a more profound and meaningful spirit of the season, which in turn increases your energy and joy for the entire season that much more.

How to Volunteer Without Leaving Your Desk

With all of the modern technology and new or improved gadgets we have at our fingertips, there isn’t much that’s impossible to accomplish over the Internet. Including volunteering. Here are just a few ways to brighten somebody’s holiday season via the Internet without breaking your schedule or your bank account.

Hop online and head on over to Global Giving.
Global Giving is a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities. Since 2002, GlobalGiving has raised $73,790,813 from 291,956 donors who have supported 6,602 projects. All you have to do is find a project to support and pick an amount to give. Once you have made a tax-deductible contribution, and you’ll get email updates from the project so you can see how your gift is making a difference.

Send gifts and/or supplies to a family affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Various organizations are starting to collect blankets, batteries and other supplies to send to victims of Hurricane Sandy, but Staten Island assemblyman Matthew Titone and Brooklyn Relief (The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew) have actually set up Amazon wish lists for their areas. Staten Island is requesting things like heavy duty garbage bags, diapers, batteries, flashlights and underwear. These little things can make a big difference for those devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and if you want to donate big Brooklyn Relief is also requesting portable generators along with some of the smaller items.

Become an online tutor.
Many students are struggling with math, science, social studies, etc. Being an online mentor or tutor is a way to help out without stepping a foot outside your door.

Become an advocate for human rights through Amnesty International.

Do your holiday shopping through a venue that benefits charity, such as Give Back America.
It costs you no extra money or time to shop via this toolbar, but each time you make a purchase, you will be donating to a charitable cause.

Ways you can help in 15 minutes or less

If you are able to spare more than a few minutes, here are ways you can make a difference this season in as little as 15 minutes.

Donate, Donate, Donate.
Household items such as glasses, cell phones, computers, furniture, beds, and many more items you probably would not think of, can be refurbished for use for someone who would not have been able to afford purchasing the item new. If you know someone in your household is getting a shiny new tech gadget or phone, don’t throw the old one out. Check first to see if it can be put to good use via a charity.

Create your own drive for whatever cause is closest to your heart.
It only takes a few minutes to collaborate with local charities and discover what needs have yet to be met. Then research fundraisers or seek out those who can donate. Other than a few phone calls, most of this can be done online, as well.

Do you typically volunteer during the holiday time? What’s your favorite way to give back?