How can I stay safe while volunteering for a cause I found on Facebook?
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when volunteering for a cause or organization you found on Facebook. You’re always the best judge of your own safety, and these guidelines aren’t meant to be a substitute for your own judgment:
- Research the event and event host: If their Facebook Page is verified, we’ve made sure the organization and event host are who they say they are. You can also research any place or organization you want to volunteer with to make sure it’s a trusted volunteering resource. Keep in mind, even if an organization or event host is trustworthy, that doesn’t mean everyone who works with them or attends is.
- Report anything suspicious: Read the event page and host information to make sure both of them are real. If you think an event is fake or an event host is pretending to be someone else, you can report them to Facebook.
- Check if the location is safe: Research the volunteering event’s meeting location to see if it’s a safe, public place. If the event location isn’t a public place, use your best judgment on whether to attend the event.
- Know the risks: Know your limits and only do volunteer work that matches your skill level. Read the event description to get a better idea of what is required and reach out to the event host if you have any questions about the volunteer work.
- Practice physical distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic: To stay safe, wear a mask and avoid close physical contact with others. Learn more about best practices for staying protected at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Protect your privacy: Depending on the organization, you may be asked to share basic contact information. (Example: mobile phone number, email address.) Remember to always be cautious when sharing personal information with others and never share financial information.
- Tell someone where you’re going: Tell someone you trust about your plans before volunteering, as well as when you expect to be back home. Consider asking another adult to volunteer with you.
- Don’t forget your mobile phone: Keep your mobile phone fully charged and with you in case of an emergency.
- Leave if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe: You don’t have to stay at a volunteering event if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe and can leave at any time. If you or someone you know is the victim of a crime or is in immediate danger, contact your local law enforcement for help.