6 Ways To Creatively Use Your Gifts While Isolated
During our international and nationwide COVID-19 crisis, some of us are experiencing grief, many are experiencing unemployment or housing and food insecurity, and all of us are experiencing some tension and uncertainty. Living and working in relative isolation doesn’t have to stop us from using our talents and spiritual gifts. In fact, the disciple Peter told the scattered believers who were living as refugees:
Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. ~ 1 Peter 4:10 GNT
Let’s get creative and find ways to use our gifts to serve those inside and outside of our faith communities, right from the safety of our homes.
Use your gifts creatively from home with these 6 service opportunities and volunteer virtually.
1. Translate for good.
Are you multilingual? Do Something suggests checking out Translators Without Borders, a nonprofit that will combine your language skills with humanitarian aid. Jackie Menjivar of Do Something reports that “volunteers provide translations (10 million words a year!) to international organizations that focus on crisis relief, health and education.”
2. Ship products to those in need.
Amazon is a safe and expedient supplier of necessary goods, and with the click of a button you can send essential items to those who need them. Do you have parents or neighbors who you’d like to assist? Or an isolated, senior relative in another state? Sending them essential items or little pick-me-ups can improve their daily living experience.
For you: Download a free COVID-19 Church Response Kit.
3. Become a crisis hotline volunteer.
As suggested by Thrive Global, the Crisis Text Line offers free support for those in crisis. Since the service accepts calls 24/7, volunteers are greatly needed during this season. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers ages 18 and older to support people in crisis.
Are you in need of the Crisis Text Line? Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor.
4. Tutor on Zoom.
If you didn’t know what Zoom was before the COVID-19 crisis, you do now. Used primarily by businesses and educational programs, Zoom is a video conference platform that allows users to conduct meetings and webinars for free (professional plan available for a cost).
Tutoring opportunities abound on Zoom, from reading to your local Kindergarten class to supporting teenage refugees. Check out the International Rescue Committee Youth online tutoring program that connects individual students to IRC volunteers. Refugee high school students need additional support to access and complete their online coursework in specific subjects like math, science, reading, etc.
Learn more about Zoom and other video conference platforms to help you work remotely.
5. Partner with friends & reach out to others
Like Terry A. Smith explains in his book The Hospitable Leader, we are wired to be together, and we are wired to experience extra joy when we accomplish a mission as a group.
Gather members from church or your small group and rotate meal delivery to a single parent in your community, or work as a group to schedule regular “check-ins” with a senior citizen who lives alone. Your group will grow and deepen as you walk through a shared service experience.
6. Share good news.
Curate your social media so people can experience hope and encouragement from your feed. Make a point to seek out inspiring stories, clean memes and comedy bits, attractive scripture images, and worship songs to share on your social media channels. As Paul encourages the Philippians:
“...fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.” (Philippians 4:8 GNT)
Your feed can be a place filled with true, pure and lovely things as you leverage technology to share good news. Challenge yourself to post an encouraging message for 21 days straight, and tag friends to join in the fun.
Pick one of these creative ways to serve others from the comfort of your home. When we are using our gifts, we are experiencing life to the full, and we are obeying Paul’s mandate to “look out for one another's interests, not just for your own” (Philippans 2:4 GNT).
Stay safe and stay home, and find ways to use your gifts to serve others.