Volunteering has become popular in last couple of years. People are getting more involved. They enjoy doing something for the sake of others without being paid. And companies set aside a volunteering days for their employees and people get closer in the communities thanks to that.
As it develops, there are new ways of volunteering coming up. One of them is micro-volunteering. It is made for those who don't have enough time to volunteer physically. It is about helping an organisation or a project to develop while on a lunch break or even without going out from home or your own bed. Some of the activities require 20-30 minutes but some can be done in few seconds or minutes and can be completed with a smartphone. Now, we all can help!
It's hard to scribble "the history" of micro-volunteering. Actually, we can say that it has always existed. People in their spare time might have been helping their neighbours, friends or siblings. Though, in last 10 years or so it has been shaped to what it is now, thanks to technology, smartphones in particular. Among organisations which popularised micro-volunteering you can find Microvoluntarios.org, Extraordinaries or HelpfromHome.org and recently Orange's app "Do Some Good".
As the micro-volunteering organisations are growing, there are also more and more opportunities for people to choose from. Tasks can be as simple as donating money with one click or donating your hair. However, most of them requires more effort but those are also more rewarding. You can be crafting quilts for babies, signing anti-deportation petition, writing a letter to help promoting freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma, protect wildlife, notify the authorities about water related incident to add to the the water safety map, add a picture to the database of free pictures or to a world map and share you knowledge to answer someone's question. Owners of Helpfromhome.org suggest you can even organise a micro-volunteering party with your friends and do some good while having fun.
The idea of micro-volunteering may seem trivial to some. But if you think that thanks to it everyone can contribute to the society in some way, it becomes more meaningful. After all, even 20 minutes spent on translating a letter that will reach milions of people is better than doing nothing. I do agree with Helpfromhome.org founder who says that it's really easy to help. You don't need money, much time or creativity, you just complete tasks other people invented for you.