Volunteer vacations

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Contribute to an organization by taking action - volunteer vacations are ideal for those who want to make a difference while experiencing a new environment
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Do a good deed away from home.

Would you like to help a great cause when you take your vacation this year? You're not alone. Many Americans take volunteer vacations every year. Whether you choose to travel to a different location to help an organization or help those right in your community, your caring will truly make a difference.

There are many organizations that would be thrilled to have your helping hands for a week or two weeks. Before you consider a volunteer vacation, first think of what you would like to do. Who would you like to help? Is there a specific area of the population that you would like to assist, such as the elderly or children? Would you like to help people in a particular part of the world? Is there a specific cause for which you would like to take action and offer your time? These are all questions to consider before taking part in a volunteer vacation.

Habitat for Humanity

One of the most popular volunteer vacations is participating in a Habitat for Humanity project. Habitat for Humanity builds homes for needy families worldwide. You can help build a Habitat for Humanity home right in your own community or in another country. Hammer nails, paint walls, decorate the landscape of a home and even put some furniture into the house for the family to feel at home when they move in.

With Habitat for Humanity, the families that receive a home through this program must work a certain number of hours with Habitat for Humanity, so you will more than likely become connected with the family while building the home. Spend a week or more time building a home for a deserving family. This is a project that you will never forget. Visit Habitat for Humanity to learn more about their volunteer programs.

Cross-Cultural Solutions

As a Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer, you will experience a different culture in another country. Volunteers have worked in a variety of projects: childcare centers, schools, health clinics, hospitals, centers for the disabled, and community organizations. Valuable volunteer work is done in health, education, and social service projects. Volunteer in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe or Latin America. Volunteers can stay anywhere from two to 12 weeks in countries of their choice, working on projects of their choice.

Global Volunteers

You can also volunteer abroad through Global Volunteers. Volunteer projects often last from one to three weeks. Projects exist in 20 host countries. Some of the projects include teaching conversational English, caring for at-risk children, repairing needed buildings, providing health care, and working with infants and toddlers, young children, teens or community elders. You can volunteer as an individual, a family or a group.


Perhaps you would like to take a volunteer vacation, but you don't want to get on a plane? Where there is a will, there certainly is a way! You may need to get extra creative and design your own project, but this can be done. Begin by thinking of an organization, social service issue, or project that you would like to serve. Find organizations and issues by visiting VolunteerMatch.

Contact the organization with plenty of advance notice, and offer your services. Be open to volunteering and working on a variety of projects. Most not-for-profit organizations will welcome your enthusiasm and skills, especially if you show you are willing to work on several projects and not just one project. You never know…your volunteer vacation could turn into a favorite long-term volunteer project!

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