Posts Tagged ‘charities’

Making a Difference While Having an Adventure

September 7, 2008

It just must be the British in me:  I am already planning next years holidays!  Next year, I want my travels to make a difference.  I would like to go somewhere new to me, and somewhat different, and at the same time I want to volunteer with projects that really matter.  I am doing the research now.  Of course, I love to dream of exotic places overseas, but this old nonni is too old to get travel medical insurance with anything but a large tour company or a cruise line.  This is due to age and pre-existing health conditions.  (Do your exotic travel while you’re young, I’ve learned)  Of course, the young don’t usually have a budget that includes exotic travel.  Well, in my day we saved for years for the one exotic trip–nevermind, whether you’re too financially strapped to travel far, or too old, there are also opportunities in the good ol’ U.S. and Canada as well.  (And I’m sure thats also true in your own country, if you live outside the U.S.!)

For the exotic-minded and intrepid travelers among us, I found the following websites for “volunteer vacations”.

For those looking for a wider variety of opportunities, including those at home try:

If you’re looking for a Christian opportunity, either at home or abroad, try

Many of these projects come with reasonable living quarters.

You can also try Habitat for Humanity.  They have projects in your own state or province, as well as projects in nearly every country of the world.  Some projects have very reasonable living quarters on site, making it more affordable. 

I’m thinking of driving in a “circle”, spending a week at each of a number of Christian non-profit organizations.  My personal favorites are those that provide relief, development and health programs for the world’s forgotten poor.  I have found that those who provide reasonable living quarters for me (usually dormitory style) charge little enough that I should be able to travel for several weeks on my travel budget.  I have found that many of the Christian charities are “clustered”, with maybe 4 to 24 all within an hour’s drive.  Don’t know the reason for that, but it is true.

Finally, if the above links don’t work for you, just try putting “volunteer vacations” in your web browser and see what you come up with.  That is a sort of adventure in itself, without ever leaving your computer desk!

Good luck and Godspeed!


How to Make a Difference

April 30, 2008

With “Make a Difference” day just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to tell how to make a difference across the world without leaving your own home.

Mercy Ships is an international health charity which provides first world life changing surgeries free of charge to third world patients.  It has performed thousands of facial plastic surgeries ranging from cleft lip and palate repair to removal of life threatening facial and neck tumors.  It has performed eye surgeries initiating sight for people with congenital cataracts.  Imagine seeing your parent or spouse for the first time.  The joy on videos of these encounters is contagious.

How can we help from home?  One can donate money on a monthly basis, but if you want to be a little more personal, why not consider putting together a patient care kit?  It will be given to one of the patients aboard the Africa Mercy, and you can include a “get well” card you have made or bought, and it will bring huge encouragement to the individual.  You can make or buy a bag large enough to include: a hand held mirror, wash cloths, a travel package of wet wipes, a large bar of soap, a tube of toothpaste, a net shower puff, a comb and a toothbrush.  If you don’t want to do a package, but find a bargain on any of these items, please feel free to send them along.  You can mail them to:

Mercy ships

Attn:  Procurement

15862 Hwy 110 N

Lindale, TX 75771


You can also send craft items for patients to use during recovery.  Examples:

Yarn, crochet hooks, colored paper, art supplies, scissors, brightly colored fabric, thread, zippers and buttons.