WIRED: A Crowdsourced Wildfire App Tracks All of California’s Blazes

WIRED: A Crowdsourced Wildfire App Tracks All of California’s Blazes. “Fires, by their very nature, are very difficult to track in real time. They can burn quickly, in every direction, and often rage in deeply wooded rural areas that are largely inaccessible. Official emergency responders, overworked and strapped by a lack of resources, struggle to fight fires and keep the public informed about a blaze’s every move…. That’s where volunteers on social media have come in. People in Facebook groups and on Fire Twitter have built whole communities of vigilant fire watchers who try to share accurate and timely fire info with the public.”

Northwestern Now: Unpaid social media moderators perform labor worth $3.4 million a year on Reddit alone

Northwestern Now: Unpaid social media moderators perform labor worth $3.4 million a year on Reddit alone. “The social networking platform Reddit relies on volunteer moderators to prevent the site from being overrun by problematic content—including hate speech—and ensure that it remains appealing for users. Though uncompensated, this labor is highly valuable to the company: According to a pair of new studies led by Northwestern University computer scientists, it’s worth at minimum $3.4 million per year, which is equivalent to 2.8% of Reddit’s 2019 revenue.”

State of North Carolina: Governor Cooper Announces Policy Allowing State Employees to Use Volunteer Days to Provide Support in Schools

State of North Carolina: Governor Cooper Announces Policy Allowing State Employees to Use Volunteer Days to Provide Support in Schools. “Governor Roy Cooper today announced plans to help combat staff shortages in K-12 school districts across the state during the current surge of COVID-19 cases. The policy will allow state employees to use volunteer days with supervisor approval to work in North Carolina public schools as substitute teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria staff.”

KWTX: New website makes it easier for Central Texans to find volunteer opportunities

KWTX: New website makes it easier for Central Texans to find volunteer opportunities. “A recent study found that around 66 percent of volunteers decreased their time volunteering or stopped completely during the pandemic. As life is getting back to normal, there’s a new website that’s making it easier for Texans to find ways to get involved in the community again. OneStar Foundation just launched VolunterTX [sic]. It’s a website that gathers places where people can volunteer from across the state, and puts them all in one place.”

ProBono Australia: The resource hub recharging Australian volunteering

ProBono Australia: The resource hub recharging Australian volunteering. “Volunteering Australia is launching an online resource hub to help reignite and strengthen Australian volunteering in a post-pandemic world. The hub brings together over 350 templates, videos, guides, and research to support volunteer managers to re-engage volunteers after COVID-19, manage the mental health and wellbeing of volunteers, and recruit younger volunteers.”

Missouri Department of Economic Development: Missouri Community Service Commission launches new website to promote volunteerism statewide

Missouri Department of Economic Development: Missouri Community Service Commission launches new website to promote volunteerism statewide. “Today, the Missouri Community Service Commission (MCSC) launched its new website. In addition to a fresh design, the website features information on community service opportunities, volunteer spotlights, and background information about MCSC’s programs.”

Washington Post: Ninety thousand medical workers volunteered to help New York battle coronavirus. Most are sitting idle.

Washington Post: Ninety thousand medical workers volunteered to help New York battle coronavirus. Most are sitting idle.. “Every day, he goes online and checks his messages again and again, and every day is the same: no response. George Weinhouse, a 67-year-old retired anesthesiologist, answered the call weeks ago for volunteers with medical experience to help New York weather the worst pandemic since 1918. Weinhouse stepped out of his comfortable post-career life, submitted his registration and credentials, and waited. Even as the coronavirus crisis approaches its peak in New York, straining the medical system like no other previous disaster, he’s still waiting.”

KOAM: New website connects those in need of help to volunteers in Kansas

KOAM: New website connects those in need of help to volunteers in Kansas. “Dramatic and sudden changes in our day to day lives due to COVID-19 are leaving Kansans feeling frightened, especially the medically vulnerable advised to socially isolate, and people whose livelihoods are impacted by mandated closures. While the government is ramping up to do what they can to help with these burdens, Volunteer Kansas wants to help by leveraging its online platform to connect people who need help with those who want to help.”

WMTV: New website initiative connects Wisconsin volunteers and organizations amid COVID-19

WMTV: New website initiative connects Wisconsin volunteers and organizations amid COVID-19. “A new website in the state is helping to connect volunteers and organizations in Wisconsin to address pressing needs during the coronavirus outbreak. The United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association created the COVID-19 Response initiative on the Volunteer Wisconsin website.”

The Leader: Findabed helps Australia’s bushfire evacuees get refuge

The Leader: Findabed helps Australia’s bushfire evacuees get refuge. “Set up just five days ago, Find A Bed is a service aimed at helping those displaced by the bushfire crisis and already scores have been relocated and the service is receiving new offers of assistance every minute. Erin Riley, from Razorback, NSW, set up the service on New Years Eve when she tweeted out that she had paddocks available for anyone in need of relocating their animals. She was overwhelmed by the number of people who also wanted to volunteer their homes and land.”

BuzzFeed News: Running A Neighbourhood Facebook Group Has Become A Seriously Complicated Job

BuzzFeed News: Running A Neighbourhood Facebook Group Has Become A Seriously Complicated Job. “Local Facebook groups increasingly serve as a local area’s town square, classifieds section, Neighbourhood Watch, and emergency information centre all rolled into one. But, for the most part, they are run by volunteers who in 2019 are devoting huge chunks of time figuring out how to enforce rules, referee disputes, and avoid getting sued in the process.” No matter what the platform, content moderation is no joke. Be kind to your local moderators.

NARA: Citizen Archivists Help Make Access Happen, One Scanned Record at a Time

NARA: Citizen Archivists Help Make Access Happen, One Scanned Record at a Time. “Citizen Archivists recently helped the National Archives and Records Administration reach a new milestone, collectively scanning their 300,000th page for inclusion in the National Archives Catalog. It’s all part of an agency-wide effort to make more records publicly accessible online.”

Live5News: Tyler heart surgeon petitions White House to create national medical volunteer database

Live5News: Tyler heart surgeon petitions White House to create national medical volunteer database. “When an emergency strikes, medical professionals are the first to respond. Often, these emergency situations take weeks to manage patients to stable conditions, and medical staff get little to no relief. A Tyler Cardiothoracic surgeon is looking to change that.”