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These 3 charities need volunteers right now

Start your year by giving back

Photograph: Ray Sangga Kusuma via Unsplash 
Got skills and free time to give back to the community you love? Kick-off 2021 right with a new volunteering gig. From teaching English to underprivileged kids to lending an ear to people experiencing emotional crises, these organisations are on the lookout for volunteers right now.

Stepping Stones

Photograph: courtesy Stepping Stones China

Stepping Stones is looking for teachers to join its English teaching programme for the spring semester. You don’t have to be a native English speaker to apply, but a strong grasp of the language and a passion and flair for teaching kids is a must. Volunteers are expected to give a lesson (one to 1.5 hours) once a week on weekends over the period from February to June at migrant schools and community centres in and around Shanghai. Classes range from ten to 30 students and you’ll work in teams of at least two volunteers who’ll alternate roles of teacher and assistant teacher. Training is also provided including lesson plans, teaching resources and on-site workshops.

Anyone over 18 years old can register here, people aged 16 and above can apply with parental consent after submitting a statement of interest to enquiry@steppingstoneschina.net. For more info, check the official website here.


Photograph: courtesy Lifeline

Can you listen without judgment? Are you empathetic and quick to respond? Volunteer-run emotional support helpline Lifeline is on the lookout for new volunteers to join its Shanghai team. Offering free, confidential and anonymous support for anything from the stresses of daily life to more acute issues (along with a series of workshops), the English-speaking hotline has been around since 2004.

Given the nature of the work, there are a number of steps to the application process. Some of the essential criteria for this one include being an English speaker, at least 23 years old and having a minimum of six months personal experience living in a foreign culture and six months residence living in Shanghai (take a look at the full list here). Commitments include a three- to four-day training course (that costs 800RMB to attend), eight hours of volunteering per month and to attend at least four further training sessions per year.

As for one of the big benefits? You'll be working as a member of a committed and loving team offering invaluable support to the city's residents. Before applying, read volunteer information here and click here to apply.

Seeds of Change

Photograph: courtesy Seeds of Change

If you're invested in the wellbeing of mind, body, society and planet and want to help to build a community that makes a sustainable difference to the world, Shanghai-based platform Seeds of Change is looking for like-minded volunteers to fulfil its mission.

Established in 2019 by Nitin Dani (also behind Green Initiatives), Seeds of Change connects individuals and communities through a variety of social impact-focused events in and around Shanghai that include film screenings, lectures, workshops and more.

As long as you're passionate about the cause and strong communicator, the requirements for applicants are fairly relaxed – there are no limits with regards to age or minimum volunteering hours and people with a background in/interested in marketing, translation, event planning and community outreach are encouraged to apply. To get involved, reach out to Seeds of Change at grow@seedsofchange.me with your skills and availability.

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