-Blog post by Reed Sandridge of Washington, DC
I woke up to terrible shooting pain in my neck. It always happens when I fall asleep on flights. Despite my weighty eyelids, I didn’t think I could go back to sleep. With another two hours or so to go on my journey to Ireland I decided to fire up my laptop and knock out some volunteer work.
That’s right, you can even volunteer from the comfort (can you hear me laughing?) of your own chair as you glide through the air at 600 miles per hour. I cracked open my laptop and connected to the Internet – for a “small” fee. Before we all start bitching that we shouldn’t be paying these fees, let’s not forget how amazing that is in and of itself – to connect to the Internet as you speed around the Earth at an altitude of 36,000 feet.
Once connected I logged on to Sparked.com and started browsing volunteer opportunities. I quickly found Connected Youth of Cameroon, an African based nonprofit whose mission it is to foster youth and women’s civic, social and intellectual development while promoting community engagement and development. They posted the following on the micro-volunteer site:
Help us with ideas to attract people to our facebook page
We have created a facebook page and need to invite visitors and even have a fan club page. We need your ideas and suggestion.
I’m glad that I hopefully have been able to help this young nonprofit, however, I couldn’t stop thinking about a bigger, more systemic problem that we have. We need to get every WiFi access carrier in the world to create a portfolio of websites that anyone can access free of charge. Sparked.comwould be on that list for sure! If we just take the airline industry, imagine how many people stuck on airplanes might be willing to spend 15 minutes online helping out their virtual community instead of watching some dumb B movie that they fell asleep watching on their last flight.
I’ve been told that the airlines and the WiFi access providers are not interested in enabling such a service for volunteer work. Let me know what YOU think…can we make this happen?!