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Washington Area Secular Humanist Meetup Group Message Board › Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

A former member
Post #: 85
Hi, All:
I see a few discussions here and there about specific volunteer opportunities. I'd like this discussion to be a list of running (open, not expiring) volunteer opportunities for Humanists.

Here is the first one I have to offer: I have a running volunteer opportunity that you can do on your own time with a free Tumblr account. This will make a huge difference to suicidal kids.

I ran into a Tumblr (it's a facebookish blog site, for those of you who don't know) called TSWatch, Tumblr Suicide Watch. People worried about Tumblr users report their suicidal posts to TSWatch, and they pump out notices to TSWatch followers. TSWatch bloggers and their followers keep contact with these kids and try to help them.

It's tenuous: we don't know if we're having much of an effect. I met a few kids and they seem to be grateful, even though I'm 20 years older than they are, that I care about their lives. I have no training. TSWatch says it doesn't matter.

Anyway, TSWatch needs a few things. At a minimum, get a Tumblr and follow TSWatch (http://tswatch.tumblr...­. When a post comes up, find that user and contact him or her to see if he or she is okay. Ask them about their problems, ask them to get help. We have a list of toll free numbers for suicide and abuse that we provide.

The next level is to become a TSWatch blogger. You will help run the blog and kick out notices, find the kids, communicate with them.

Tumblr is completely anonymous. These kids could be in other countries. They also don't really have to reply to you. There is no way to contact the authorities if you think someone has really committed suicide. All you can do is the best you can do.

I think I made a difference in a few kids' lives. I'm posting this because it's something you can do from your smartphone and you can put as little or as much time into it as you want. If you ride the metro to work, you can get on Tumblr then and communicate with these kids, or you can do it during lunch, or at random during your day. As long as you never keep a kid hanging (by not replying), you're fine. They usually just say, "Thank you for caring."
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