Build and rebuild
If you know your way around a set of tools (or a paintbrush), you can help veterans through Purple Heart Homes. Through this group, veterans help other vets build or maintain their homes. Civilians can help out too, especially with fundraising and other behind-the-scenes jobs. (Here are 45 things Americans veterans wish you knew.) Prefer to focus on kids and community spaces? Check out KaBOOM!, which works with communities to build and improve parks and playgrounds so children can have better access to fresh air and safe places to be active. You don’t need any prior knowledge or skills to contribute to a KaBOOM build.
Code for America is always looking for volunteers with technical skills. You can join a local brigade of this “Peace Corps for Geeks,” or “hack from home” as you help address community problems with innovative technological solutions. Past projects have created an app that matches addicts with recovery programs and a website that makes it easier to apply for food stamp benefits. If video games are your favorite kind of tech, you can help raise money for worthy causes while you play. Register for one of Games Done Quick‘s twice-yearly speed-running marathons for charity.
Prefer to volunteer without leaving your home? “VolunteerMatch has over 6,000 virtual volunteer opportunities you can do from anywhere, including blogging about vegetarian recipes for a sustainable nonprofit, translating Spanish for a state-wide volunteer center, and becoming a crisis text line volunteer who provides relief to people suffering from trauma in just a few taps,” says Sadiq.