3 ways you can volunteer virtually in Birmingham right now

Hopefully, in-person volunteering will be back on track soon. In the meantime, these missions can’t wait! Photo via STAIR of Birmingham on Facebook

Volunteering in your community is one of the most impactful things you can do. You get plugged into a group of like-minded people while making a positive change. These days, it looks a bit different. Here’s how you can volunteer in Birmingham from the safety of your own home.

1. Champion literacy and build relationships with local children

STAIR (Start The Adventure In Reading) is a free after-school tutoring program offered to second grade students at 13 schools across the Birmingham community.

“At STAIR we know that students in our community are struggling with literacy.

Through one-on-one tutoring, we empower students with the tools to read better and dream bigger, because every child deserves to read on grade level.”

STAIR is currently looking for virtual tutors to join their team for this school year. You don’t have to be a teacher to volunteer—they provide user-friendly curriculum that requires no outside prep time.

Read more about the requirements + sign up to tutor here. You must be a freshman in high school or older and live in the Birmingham area. That’s it!

Would you rather donate other resources to the mission of literacy in Birmingham? Great! Donate to STAIR here.

2. Protect our rivers and watersheds from your computer

Something worth protecting. Photo via Black Warrior Riverkeeper on Facebook

Black Warrior Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Black Warrior River and its tributaries. They are a citizen-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting clean water for the sake of public health, recreation and wildlife habitat.

“Patrolling waterways, educating the public, and holding polluters accountable has made us an important proponent of clean water throughout the basin.

Our staff identifies and addresses pollution problems while increasing public awareness.”

They’re seeking virtual volunteers for a few different projects. Social media outreach on Twitter and Facebook are low-commitment, high-impact ways to make a difference.

You can also write letters to the editor of different local publications. Get support and instruction from the Black Warrior Riverkeeper and and be an agent of change for a cleaner, healthier Black Warrior River watershed.

Looking to support in more ways than one? Donate here.

3. Put a smile on the face of a homebound senior

These days, Meals on Wheels involves a few more masks and gloves—but the impact is even greater. Photo via United Way of Central Alabama on Facebook

United Way Meals on Wheels provides more than 187,000 meals to homebound seniors throughout Jefferson County each year. In addition to delivering meals to homebound seniors, there is another important aspect to serving as a Meals on Wheels volunteer: human contact. 

“Many seniors who are unable to leave their homes may not see or talk to another individual for days at a time. Meals on Wheels volunteers provide them an opportunity for conversation and socialization.”

They’re currently looking for people to create “Thinking of You” cards that are packed into every meal. This is such an easy way to let homebound seniors or an adult with disabilities know that their community cares about them.

A handmade card can lift spirits anytime, but especially now, so many of these recipients are isolated and alone. Tap into your artistic side and make a difference in the lives of our elderly.

You can read more about guidelines here, plus register to receive more info on card ideas, mailing, drop-off locations and more. Meals on Wheels also welcomes monetary donations.

Do you know of more Birmingham nonprofits in need of support? Be sure to send them this form so we can help get the word out.

  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.