As part of Student Volunteering Week, CUSU V&E arranged for our students and staff to take part in Micro Volunteering, a 10-20 minute online activity that contributes to worthy causes on your behalf. The day was very enjoyable and created a real sense of accomplishment for all involved.
There were five opportunities for participants to choose from, spanning the broad scope of micro volunteering. Firstly, working with PostPals, an online charity that asks for people to send in feel good messages to children suffering from severe illnesses, e mail messages were sent to a variety of children from our students and staff. It’s amazing how easy it is to put a smile on a child’s face by doing something so simple and free. Some of the other activities included playing online games and reading short pieces about world hunger. By doing this, money is donated to a charity by the host website. When did doing good become so straightforward?
By far our most popular activity was Play for Pencils. They are an organisation that donates pencils to educational institutions struggling for funding. By answering a series of questions online about a topic of your choice, you get to make a child’s life easier by giving his class an extra pencil. Whether it was the thrill of correctly answering questions about their favourite academic topic, or just a certain level of empathy shown by our students towards children struggling with their education, this activity managed to engage the most amount of people by quite some way. The most rewarding part of the day was seeing ‘CUSUVE’ second on the website’s leader board for donations. Let’s hope these small donations go some way to making a massive difference.
The day started off slow as we struggled to draw people in. As people did start to take notice however, they quickly became engaged in the cause we were leading on and a good handful of people commented on what a great idea it is to volunteer online in your spare time. Whether word of mouth started to spread, or a bunch of hungry students came into the Union on their lunch break, things really picked up around midday. It was great to see so many interested students, and to see them challenging each other to answer the most amount of questions in a row added another layer of enjoyment to the day.
The event could not have happened without the fantastic support from our Student Volunteer Team. They were on the front line all day, drawing people in and handing out flyers. They were also keen to show off their own general knowledge and skills, and got involved in a few of the activities themselves.
All those who took part were entered into a raffle, and now stand a chance to win a range of prizes. They were also rewarded with some sweets and had their picture taken to document their good deed.
We’re hoping that micro volunteering is a gateway to further activity, and judging by the level of interest shown today, we’re confident we can increase our numbers and create even more good deeds before the week is done.