Serving the public good during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has us working, learning, and living from home, but Falcons are an incredibly generous and giving group of students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Wondering what you can do to help during this time of uncertainty? The BGSU Center for Public Impact has curated some opportunities and resources below for you to continue to serve the public good.
Donate and Volunteer with Food Banks
Local food banks in Bowling Green and Wood County are in need of your support and donations. Visit our Food Justice and Equity @ BGSU page to connect with local food pantries to identify their greatest needs at this time. Visit the Food Justice and Equity @ BGSU Website
The Ohio Association of Foodbanks represents Ohio's 12 Feeding America foodbanks, who serve all 88 counties in Ohio. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the network served an average of 25,000 people every day. In the days and weeks to come, they will serve many more thousands of people, and we will need to do so through different means of distribution. This presents unique challenges and needs. View opportunities to help.
United Way 2-1-1
United Way provides a 24 hour a day information and referral service line, just call 2-1-1. This community data can be helpful to individuals and groups needing information about housing, education, child care, healthcare, utilities, and urgent needs within the community. With current COVID-19 developments, this resource can assist individuals get connected to resources. Learn More about the United Way 2-1-1
Sign up for the Medical Reserve Corps
Hospitals and health departments are encouraging people to sign up and train at home now to become part of Medical Reserve Corps. No special skills are required and anyone 18+ is welcome. There is an expected increased need for medical volunteers soon and are especially interested in people who have health care backgrounds and certifications. Apply Today
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National VOAD, an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters, provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. Get Connected to Local Opportunities
Support Ohio’s Domestic Violence Shelters
For some, social distancing and staying home may put them at risk if there is violence in the home. Consider donating to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network or support your local shelter.
Dr. Shannon Orr, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Master of Public Administration Program at BGSU recently wrote a blog post highlighting community-based learning (service-learning) during the pandemic.
She has curated a great list of virtual volunteering by academic discipline. This is a great resource for faculty and students in community-based learning courses or for anyone looking for a way to contribute virtually to some of these exciting online opportunities. Check out the blog post
You Will Rise Project
The mission of the You Will Rise Project is to provide a multimedia showcase for people of all ages who have been bullied to share their stories through the arts. Submissions can include visual art (paintings, drawings, sculptures, videos, etc.) as well as poetry, song lyrics, short stories, or other creative expressions that best capture their personal experiences. Learn more about the You Will Rise Project
Free Minds Book Club
Free Minds uses books, creative writing, and peer support to awaken DC youth incarcerated as adults to their own potential. Through creative expression, job readiness training, and violence prevention outreach, these young poets achieve their education and career goals, and become powerful voices for change in the community. Learn more about the Free Minds Book Club
LibriVox volunteers read and record chapters of books in the public domain (books no longer under copyright), and make them available for free on the Internet. Practically, this means we record books published before 1923. All our recordings (including yours, if you volunteer for us) are also donated into the public domain. Learn more about LibriVox
7 Cups provides free, 24/7 emotional support to millions via online chat. They want to make sure nobody has to face their problems alone. Having someone like you to listen can be all it takes to make a real difference. 7 Cups provides free online training & support - all you need is an internet connection to get started. Learn more about 7 Cups
BGSU Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
While this is not a volunteer opportunity, students doing research, scholarship, or creative activities or wishing to present their results and productions can access grants and helpful resources. Learn more about the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship
Zooniverse is always looking for volunteers for research projects in the arts, biological sciences, climate, history, physics, and more! Learn more about Zooniverse
Help Missing Maps achieve their goal to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world, in order to enable international and local NGOs and individuals to use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting the areas. Learn more about Missing Maps
Mapping Prejudice Project
The Mapping Prejudice digital mapping project is part of a broader reckoning with the legacies of racist housing policies. Mapping Prejudice was inspired by groundbreaking work in Seattle and Virginia that show how digital tools can illuminate structural racism and transform our understanding of the past. See how you can volunteer and contribute to racial justice. Learn more about the Mapping Prejudice
Matches skilled professional volunteers with nonprofits to help them increase their capacity and achieve their missions. They also surveyed 450+ nonprofit organizations to identify their greatest needs to respond to the pandemic. Learn more about Catchafire
Translators Without Borders
Offers virtual volunteers the chance to help translate documents, if you have another language skill. Learn more about Translators Without Borders
Help Project Gutenberg produce more eBooks. You can help in many ways:
- by helping proofread an eBook,
- by procuring eligible paper books,
- by burning CDs and DVDs for people without Internet access,
- by donating money,
- by promoting PG on your web site.
- Learn more about Project Gutenberg
Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line is the free, 24/7 text line for people in crisis in the United States. The service is powered by volunteer Crisis Counselors who work remotely—anywhere with a computer and secure internet connection works.
Crisis Counselors answer texts from people in crisis, bringing them from a hot moment to a cool calm through active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. Learn more about the Crisis Text Line
The Smithsonian Museum
Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help make historical documents and biodiversity data more accessible.
Join 16,250 "volunpeers" to add more to the total 524,082 pages of field notes, diaries, ledgers, logbooks, currency proof sheets, photo albums, manuscripts, biodiversity specimens labels that have been collaboratively transcribed and reviewed since June 2013. Learn more about The Smithsonian Museum
National Park Service
Assist the NPS web team with the testing and evaluation of web products. Your feedback will be used to enhance and improve the online offerings of the National Park Service. Past tasks have included:
- suggesting logical organization for park website navigation
- determining the appropriate name for a new site on NPS.gov
- testing a new element that creates species lists for individual parks
You do not have to live in any particular area to participate—you can contribute from anywhere using any device with a web browser and Internet access. Learn more about the National Park Service
United Nations Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Online volunteering allows organizations and volunteers to team up to address sustainable development challenges – anywhere in the world, from any device. Learn more about United Nations Volunteers
Amnesty International DeCoders
Amnesty International has a team of Amnesty DeCoders who volunteer to research and uncover human rights violations. Learn more about Amnesty International DeCoders
Register, Get Informed, Vote
The Presidential Election is November 3, 2020 and if you wish to vote in Ohio the voter registration deadline is October 5, 2020. Visit BGSU Votes website for resources to help you get registered, get informed, and vote. To receive regular election updates via text message subscribe by texting BGSUVotes to 56525. Data and message rates apply.
Contact Your Elected Officials
Elected officials want to hear from constituents. This is one way to exercise your voice and contribute as an active citizen. Write or call your elected officials to share your perspectives on how our local, state, and national government should respond to the pandemic.
2020 Ohio Elected Officials Contact Sheet - Produced by the League of Women Voters of Bowling Green. This sheet breaks down local, state, and national representative information and contact details.
Find your Elected Official - The League of Women Voters also has an online digital tool you can use to find your elected official based on your zip code.
Your Vote Matters Podcast
Campus Election Engagement Project produces a wonderful podcast examining various aspects of the election process and civic and political engagement in higher education. Listen now
Apply for National Service with AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a way for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to dedicate their time and skills to get things done. Join AmeriCorps and you can mentor and tutor kids, rebuild a community after disaster, help veterans and work with local communities to alleviate poverty. There are thousands of opportunities to choose from. Learn more about AmeriCorps
BGSU Student Emergency Fund
The Student Emergency Fund can help provide resources for students facing difficult situations. The fund is entirely supported by charitable donations like yours, and any amount helps meet a student’s time-sensitive need. Donate
United Way advances the common good in communities across the world with a focus on education, income and health—the building blocks for a good quality of life. Locally and worldwide, United Way is responding to the pandemic offering essential services and resources.
- Lucas, Wood, and Ottawa Counties
Northwest Ohio Community Shares
Founded in 1997, Community Shares is northwest Ohio’s workplace-giving federation with a focus on social justice, health and human services, animal welfare, the arts and the environment. They generate essential operating funds for local nonprofits that are working for positive change. Learn more about Northwest Ohio Community Shares
Charity Miles lets you turn a neighborhood jog or weekend hike into a fundraiser for good. Just choose a charity and get moving. The app tracks your movement. For every mile you log, you help to earn money for your chosen charity. Learn more about Charity Miles
United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. Learn more about UNICEF
World Health Organization (WHO)
The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading and coordinating the global effort, supporting countries to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. Learn more about WHO