User:Vtaylor/CIS2 Summer 2008/Virtual volunteering/How ‘Virtual Volunteering’ Holds Value Within Our Present Society

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  • Jayne Cravens and Coyote Communications: This article talks about one woman’s experience with virtual volunteering. She (Jayne Cravens) states, “For the past two years, I've said on more than one online forum that the most innovative, exciting things I'm learning about volunteer management and other community involvement rarely come from traditional volunteer management workshops and conferences but, rather, conferences focused on entirely different subjects.” … “Tiny nonprofit organizations with very little staff are doing extraordinary things with volunteers, and making the volunteers feel included and energized, not with pins and t-shirts but through greater and more-meaningful involvement -- and this movement is being fueled by inclusive uses of technology.”… “I look at twice a day, mostly for just laughs or to see what I'm missing in USA pop-culture (as I live in Germany), but I now realize that, because of this site, I was familiar with some of the most innovative, popular things being done regarding multi-media to get a message out. I bring this up not-so-much to get you to view, but to encourage you to look for inspiration in your job in non-traditional ways.”

  • Vinspired: Adrian, 17, is already getting stuck into a film project: "I feel that Virtual Volunteering is a great opportunity for young people to gain experience and knowledge from volunteering but with the freedom and independence that most other volunteering schemes do not offer. I'm really enjoying the film project at the moment because its given me the chance to try new things that I haven' done before, such as set designing, and the staff and other volunteers are friendly." This article is an example of how adults, as well as teenagers are taking advantage of the virtual volunteering experience.

  • The New York Times: This article talks about a couple people’s experiences and how virtual volunteering can give the wrong impression to people. They state that virtual volunteering is viewed as less rewarding than face to face volunteering and their experiences have argued against this assumption.

Denise Calabrese-Green was trying to become an online volunteer for the Sidelines National Support Network – which helps women with high-risk pregnancies – at She talks about how this organization helped her and about her experience: “I had two high-risk pregnancies myself and was helped by this organization,” she said. “I wanted to give back.” Since she was accepted at Sidelines nearly five years ago, Mrs. Calabrese-Green, who lives in San Diego, has been a “cyberauntie” for 20 babies across the country. She supported their mothers through their pregnancies, primarily through e-mail exchanges.” Another man, Mr. Miller, talks about his experience. At first he was one of the thousands of people who thought virtual volunteering was not “professional,” but he soon had a change of heart. He states, “People have a very superficial idea of online volunteering.” He said, “I’m still amazed at the commitment, loyalty and desire of complete strangers to contribute to an organization they will never see.”

A letter from a woman who used to help her through her tough pregnancy. She states,

Dear Sidelines,

I just wanted to take the time to tell you how wonderful this (support) is. I wrote in my 17th week when I was diagnosed with placenta previa.

I was put on full and then partial bed rest until week 38. At 39 1/2 weeks I delivered a very healthy 8lb 14oz boy. During my difficult time in bed you found me a buddy. Lisa was the biggest help to me and gave me such wonderful support. She 'talked' me through many difficult times. It was comforting knowing someone else had been through what I was going through and had a good outcome. I don't think I could have gotten through it without her. She helped me to think positively. Thank you so much for sending her to me. We still write every now and then and she has become my friend.

Keep up the great work.



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