Micro Volunteering Day 2020

15 April 2020

Today is Micro Volunteering Day, which is on the 15th April each year.

I have to confess that I’ve never been a fan of the original thinking of micro volunteering, however, in the current circumstances I’ve changed my mind!

Right now with so many of us in lock down, and required to stay away from others, Micro Volunteering offers a way of making a contribution from home.

The challenge I have for micro volunteering is the premise that people are not so willing to give their time to volunteer, therefore, you have to break the task down into much smaller chunks -to bite sizes, and then more people will be prepared to join in.

In Scotland we’ve had 60,000 people come forward as volunteers to respond to Covid-19, and prepared to help in the most difficult of circumstances. This shows another reality, that our people are very willing to give their time, and that our community life is the essence in our desire to help others. If, however, you take away the enticement angle of micro volunteering and see it as simply another choice, and another way of contributing to the common good it can be truly inspirational.

Remember the murder attempt on ex Russian agent Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in 2018. Not so well known is that it was micro volunteering that unmasked the identities of the 2 suspects. Bellingcat harnesses the collective and international collective power of citizen journalists, researchers, investigators, and volunteers to use all the available evidence on line, and meticulously work through it. A wonderful job they did. I’m sure that not every micro volunteering task is as exciting as unmasking international hit men, but the principles of doing a little in a big picture goal is the same.

So, I’m a convert, and recommend to you to have a look at micro volunteering options on line and see if there’s something you can help with. Many Scottish charities are re grouping with the crisis and there’s never been more options for on line activity. Many of the wonderful mutual aid groups that have emerged in response to community needs are running on line meet ups, study groups, and befriending support. Check them out as well. Combining micro volunteering help in a local community context allows for friendly relationships to be created as well.

Enjoy!

George Thomson