Monday, October 21, 2013

Working During Your Vacation

You have a vacation coming up, but you’ve been everywhere and seen everything that you wanted to see.  Maybe you have a lot of vacation time amassed and you know you’ve been blessed with material assets that others don’t have.  If so, maybe you should consider going on a Volunteer Vacation.  There are many opportunities available to take an interesting vacation and still make a difference in your world.  You can work in a partner program where you will work side by side with local people to improve their community.  You might work in the area you are most interested in.  Do you have building skills?  Are you a medical professional?  You can be used in various communities both here and abroad to help the disadvantaged get the medical care they need.

Other opportunities are offered all over the world.  You could volunteer in an orphanage, a school, caring for the elderly, or working with people with disabilities.  What ever your interests, there are opportunities for you to make your vacation a volunteer experience.  It will inspire you and make you thankful for all you have been blessed with.

With the natural disasters we have experienced in the past year, many places could use help in rebuilding and cleaning up.  The tsunami relief is still far from being completed.  Many miles of beaches still need to be cleaned and many are still without shelter.  Put your building skills to work to help the unfortunate countries that were affected. 

Do you lean more toward ecological projects?  Those can be found as well.  In the past 12 months, a volunteer group has spent many hours rehabilitating sick penguins so they can be released into the wild in South Africa.  Released turtle hatchlings in Costa Rica and cleaning vast amounts of beach area in Sri Lanka.  Other projects include, erecting a fence to protect wildlife in Australia, replanting over 2000 saplings to restore a forest in Kenya and helped preserve Griffon Vultures in Croatia.

If you prefer to work with people, you may be able to help with teaching English as a second language.  One organization has organized a camp to help children fight drug addiction.  Another has taught basic sports skills and helped with educational development for children in underprivileged countries. 

Meaningful volunteer vacations can be a worthwhile project for anyone wanting to help the world become a better place.  To promote goodwill and let other countries know that we as Americans care.

The Church I belong to takes a missionary trip every year.  They have fund-raising events, and those that go work to raise the money for their travel.  They may go and finish a project started by another church, or start a new project.  The Church that is sending the group often supplies building supplies.  Teens have gone on mission trips to conduct one-week Bible Schools.  My son had the opportunity to go on one of these mission trips and that one trip changed his life forever.  He learned that volunteer work could be rewarding and unforgettable.  There was time for him to visit the local sites and work with the locals on something that was important to them.  He used his experience on that trip to go to a large city here in the States to minister to inner city youths during one of his summer college breaks.

I found many different sites on the Internet that gives you the choice of where you want to volunteer.  Is there an area you have never thought of visiting?  Maybe a news story has made you curious about an area, or stirred your heart, making you want to make a difference.  Can one person make a difference?  The answer is a resounding YES.  You can take projects for as short as one week to as long as 12 weeks.  You choose what will interest you and where you would like to go. 

Why not take advantage to see a part of the world you would not have the occasion to visit and change the lives of people in that area.  You can have a life changing experience, a vacation to remember and do your part in working for peace and understanding around the world.


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