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Voluntourism and Cruising  March 2016
Nancy Schretter, Together for Good's Founder, is featured in a session entitled "Shorex and the Rise of Voluntourism" at Seatrade Global 2016, the cruise industry’s premier conference. This session covers how cruise lines and others are catering to travelers' interests in combining volunteer opportunities with leisure travel and ways ports can adapt and cater to this voluntourism trend.
Presenters include Tara Russell, President of Fathom & Global Impact Lead, Carnival Corporation & Plc; Daniel Skjeldam, CEO, Hurtigruten; John Stoll, Vice President, Land Programs, Crystal Cruises; and Yoshioka Tatsuya, Founder and Director, Peace Boat.

Great Press!

Together for Good was recently featured in articles in

  • Agent@Home magazine
  • Fox News
  • Travel Channel
  • Chicago Tribune
  • and other media outlets.
We've also been included in stories in Leisure Group Travel magazine, USA Today, the International Business Times, Porthole Magazine, and many other print and online publications. See our Stories page for links and more information. Thanks for all the media support.

Destinations:

Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
Belize
Costa Rica
Dominican
   Republic

Grenada/
   Grenadines

Guatemala
Honduras
Jamaica
Mexico
St Lucia
St Martin
US

UNITED STATES

Florida

Orlando/Kissimmee Area:

Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre non-profit “storybook” type vacation village that provides free week-long vacations to kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families, including theme park tickets, food, transportation, and evening entertainment. Volunteers are needed to help serving food to kids and their families, assisting with makeovers in Twinkle Hope’s La Ti Da Royal Spa, driving a miniature train around Amberville, delivering pizzas, being part of parades, and other activities. Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. Kids 12-16 must be supervised by an adult volunteer who is at least 18. Children 16 and older may volunteer without a parent or guardian. This volunteer vacation is great for families and multigenerational groups. Individuals can volunteer for one or more 4-hour volunteer shifts per week. Give Kids the World operates more than 1,400 volunteer shifts each week. There is no cost to volunteer. In fact, each volunteer receives a free meal. Give Kids the World also needs in-kind donations. Items needed include AAA batteries, disposable cameras, small boxes of crayons, gifts for children of all ages with batteries, board games, travel games, and hand held games. All gifts must be new and in their original packaging. Sunscreen, insect repellent, rain ponchos, small non-candy prizes and toys and other items are also needed. A complete wish list is provided on the organization’s website. For more information, visit the Give Kids the World website at gktw.org or call 407-396-1114. Universal Orlando has a heavily discounted package for Give Kids the World volunteers that includes 3 nights at one of their on-site hotels, a 2-day Universal Orlando base ticket, a 4-hour volunteer shift at GKTW, free round-trip transportation to GKTW, early theme park admission, Universal Express ride access to skip the lines, and a $100 donation to GKTW for every package purchased.

Covenant House Florida helps homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in Orlando. The organization needs soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, pens, pencils, notebooks, loose leaf paper, soccer balls, basketballs, new and gently used adult clothing, new socks, blankets, pillows, towels, twin sheet sets, laundry detergent, non-perishable food items, disposable diapers, new baby toys, baby clothes, prenatal care items and more. A complete list can be found on the organization's website at covenanthouse.org. Covenant House Florida is located at 5931 East Colonial Drive in Orlando. Their phone number is 407-482-0404.

Bradenton:

Southeastern Guide Dogs has matched thousands of dogs to people with visual impairments since 1982. All of these guide dogs are puppies first and they need care. Southeastern Guide Dogs trains and raise these Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Collies and other puppies. Volunteers are needed to create puppy collars and walk dogs. Kids and adults can also volunteer for puppy hugging as well. Volunteering and tours of the Southeastern Guide Dog campus are by appointment only. If you're planning to tour, wear comfortable shoes and please consider a $10 donation. Every little bit helps to offset the $60,000 cost of breeding, raising, training, placing and servicing one guide dog. For more information, visit: guidedogs.org.

Anna Maria Island:

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring Program welcomes travelers of all ages in shadowing federally permitted Nesting Beach Tours. These activities take place in June and July and are by reservation only. For more information, visit: http://islandturtlewatch.com/contact-us/.

 

Fort Lauderdale:

Covenant House Florida helps homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in Fort Lauderdale. The organization needs soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, pens, pencils, notebooks, loose leaf paper, soccer balls, basketballs, new and gently used adult clothing, new socks, blankets, pillows, towels, twin sheet sets, laundry detergent, non-perishable food items, disposable diapers, new baby toys, baby clothes, prenatal care items and more. A complete list of current needs can be found on the organization's website at https://www.covenanthouse.org/. Covenant House Florida is located at 733 Breakers Avenue, Fort Lauderdale. Their phone number is 954-561-5559.

 

Florida Keys:

The Florida Keys offers a number of voluntourism opportunities for vacationers in the area. Options include volunteering at the Key West Wildlife Center, Key West Tropical Forest, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, REEF, the Coral Restoration Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and more. For additional information on the many voluntourism options the Florida Keys offers, visit: keysvoluntourism.com

New York

Finger Lakes Region:

Cracker Box Palace Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit animal farm sanctuary for approximately 140 animals located in Alton, New York. The organization welcomes vacationers to volunteer and feed, clean and care for the many animals on property including rabbits, goats, pigs, geese, horses and more. Help is also needed with larger projects as well. The animal sanctuary also needs in-kind donations such as feed, medicines, bleach, paper towels, hand sanitizer, soap, and any new or craft items (particularly those with a farm theme) that could be used for their gift shop. A complete list is provided on their website. For more information, visit their website at Crackerboxpalace.org. Their telephone number is 315-483-2493 and their email address is crackerbpalace@netzero.net

 

Farm Sanctuary is a 175-acre animal haven for over 500 farm animals in Watkins Glen, New York. Volunteers ages 18 and older can help with farm chores, projects and tasks for at least one six-hour shift. No experience is required. Children ages 12-17 will be considered, but must be accompanies by a parent or guardian. In-kind donations of food and supplies are also needed and appreciated. Needed items include washcloths, towels, spray bottles, cleaning sponges, scrub brushes, apples, carrots, grapes, cranberries, dried fruit, peanut butter, raisins, rice cakes, strawberries, sunflower seeds, pens, staples, staplers, permanent markers, rubber bands, and much more. A complete list can be found on their website. Farm Sanctuary is a US nonprofit 501c3 organization. For more information, visit the organization's website at Farmsanctuary.org, contact info@farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225.

Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana:

Youth Rebuilding New Orleans helps to improve neighborhoods in New Orleans by rebuilding distressed and foreclosed homes. This organization offers multi-day volunteering vacation options with this organization that involves local youth and vacationing volunteers in stabilizing the greater New Orleans area. Volunteers help rebuild distressed and foreclosed homes. The homes are sold to teachers to help stabilize the area and assist the greater city’s education system. Work can include framing a wall, installing tile and other types of construction tasks. Volunteers can work for full or half days. There are also volunteer options on Saturdays and sometimes on Sundays, “as long as the Saints aren’t playing.” Volunteers must be at least twelve years of age with parent supervision, or at least 15 years of age without parent supervision. A nominal donation of $10 per person is requested to cover costs associated with the volunteer day such as supplies, snacks, water, supervision and coordination. For more information, visit yrno.com or call 504-701-9693.

HandsOn New Orleans is the Volunteer Center of United Way, providing a central clearing house of volunteer opportunities in the greater New Orleans area. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.handsonneworleans.org/. The organization’s phone number is 504-827-6854 and their email address is Info@handsonneworleans.org.

Covenant House helps homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in New Orleans. The home's average daily number of kids served was 139 last year. The shelter needs soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, pens, pencils, notebooks, loose leaf paper, soccer balls, basketballs, new and gently used adult clothing, new socks, blankets, pillows, towels, twin sheet sets, laundry detergent, non-perishable food items, disposable diapers, new baby toys, baby clothes, prenatal care items and more. A complete list can be found on the organization's website at covenanthouse.org. Covenant House is located at the edge of the French Quarter at 611 North Rampart Street. Their telephone number is 504-584-1111.

Utah

Kanab, Utah:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon is a refuge for about 1,700 homeless animals. Located on 22,000 acres, it is the nation's largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and is operated by Best Friends Animal Society, a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Sanctuary's location is right in the 'Golden Circle' of National Parks, a region that includes the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion. It is also close to Lake Powell. Volunteers are warmly welcomed here. Children must be 6 and older to volunteer; kids under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times. Age requirements differ by section and type of animals kids will be working with. Two volunteer sessions are offered per day, 7 days a week. The average volunteer spends 2-3 days volunteering. Volunteers will work with the approximately 1700 animal sanctuary residents. Activities can include walking dogs, feeding, grooming and assisting with the cleaning of animal areas, sitting and talking with animals, helping to take animals on outings to town and other nearby locations. There is no cost to volunteer. There are a number of unique activities offered as well, including animal sleepovers, animal outings and a Best Friends Kids Camp. In-kind donations are also appreciated, too. A complete list is available on the organization's website. For more information, visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

California

Hollywood/Los Angeles Area:

Covenant House California helps homeless, runaway and at-risk youth in the Hollywood and Los Angeles areas, with programs and a residential campus. The organization needs soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, pens, pencils, notebooks, loose leaf paper, soccer balls, basketballs, new and gently used adult clothing, new socks, blankets, pillows, towels, twin sheet sets, laundry detergent, non-perishable food items, disposable diapers, new baby toys, baby clothes, prenatal care items and more. A complete list can be found on the organization's website at Covenanthouse.org. Covenant House is located at 1325 N. Western Avenue, Hollywood, California. Their telephone number is 323-461-3131.

Farm Sanctuary is a 26-acre shelter for approximately 100 farm animals in Acton, about forty-five minutes from Hollywood. Volunteers ages 18 and older can help with farm chores, projects and tasks for at least one four-hour shift. No experience is required. Children ages 12-17 will be considered, but must be accompanies by a parent or guardian. In-kind donations of food and supplies are also needed and appreciated. Needed items include zip-lock storage bags, cleaning sponges, hand towels, flashlights, triple antibiotic ointment, sunscreen, fine tip permanent markers, duct tape, pens, binder clips, apples, bananas, carrots, grapes, peanut butter and much more. A complete list can be found on their website. Farm Sanctuary is a US nonprofit 501c3 organization. Farm Sanctuary's Southern California Shelter is located at 5200 Escondido Canyon Road, Acton, CA. For more information, visit the organization's website at FarmSanctuary.org/ or contact info@farmsanctuary.org. The organization's telephone number is 661-269-5404.

Northern California:

Farm Sanctuary is a 300-acre shelter overlooking Black Butte Lake in Orland, California. The shelter is home to over 300 rescued farm animals. Residents include pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, cattle and a variety of waterfowl. Volunteers ages 18 and older can help with farm chores, projects and tasks for at least one six-hour shift. No experience is required. Children ages 12-17 will be considered, but must be accompanies by a parent or guardian. In-kind donations of food and supplies are also needed and appreciated. Needed items include animal carriers, flashlights, hand towels, triple antibiotic ointment, sunscreen, cleaning sponges, cleaning scrubbers, fine tip permanent markers, duct tape, apples, bananas, canned fruit, carrots, grapes, molasses, peanut butter and more. A complete wish list can be found on the organization’s website. Farm Sanctuary is a US nonprofit 501c3 organization. Farm Sanctuary’s Northern California Shelter is located in Orland, about 30 minutes west of Chico and 100 miles north of Sacramento, California. For more information, visit the organization's website at FarmSanctuary.org/ or contact info@farmsanctuary.org.

Hawaii

Maui:

Pacific Whale Foundation offers a free Volunteering on Vacation program for Maui vacationers and residents. The community service program makes it easy and convenient for Maui visitors to volunteer. Opportunities include removing invasive species and helping with projects in Haleakala National Park (includes free transportation and admission to the National Park), clearing invasive species on Hawaiian Islands Land Trust lands, removing invasive weeds and species at Malama Honokawai and Hoaloha'aina, helping with farm chores at O'o Farm in Upcountry Maui, beach clean-ups and other activities. Time commitments range from 3-7 hours depending upon the project.  Those who provide 3 hours of services will receive a free "Volunteering on Vacation" tote bag. For more information, visit: volunteersonvacation.org. To sign up, call 808- 249-8811 extension 1.

Lanai:

Lanai Cat Sanctuary is a US 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2008. The organization assists animals on Lanai by providing shelter, veterinary care, sustenance, adoptions and much more. This permanent shelter includes a 15,000-square-foot open air enclosure with many areas for the cats to play, sleep and climb. Volunteers are needed to assist with feeding and providing water to the cats, sanctuary maintenance, grooming, and providing lots of love and attention for the kittens and cats here. In addition to volunteer help, in-kind donations are greatly appreciated. Some of the needs include wand play toys, catnip, kitty treats, cat beds, baskets, soft-side pet carriers, clay litter, copy paper, postage stamps, sharpies, and other items. A complete list is provided on the organization's website: Lanai Cat Sanctuary.org. Open Houses are scheduled every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, email Keoni@LanaiCatSanctuary.org or call 808-215-9066. The Sanctuary is located a little over a half-mile from the Lanai airport on Kaunolu Road. Rabaca's Limosine and Island Tours can provide transportation. They can be reached at 808-559-0230 or rabaca@aloha.net. The Four Seasons Lanai has partnered with the Lanai Cat Sanctuary as part of their Kokua Project. Guests at the Four Seasons Lanai can check with the resort about transportation and planned activities.

Kauai:

Kauai Humane Society needs volunteers to help socialize dogs and entertain cats and kittens. Volunteers can be dog buddies and help with exercising, playing, grooming and bathing the dogs at the shelter. Cat cuddlers are also sought to play with and provide attention to the shelter's kittens and cats. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old to work alone, however children ages 10-17 may volunteer with an adult or guardian who is also volunteering at the Kauai Humane Society. The organization also needs in-kind donations as well. Links to Kauai Hyatt Enrich Program and Kauai Humane Society. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa has partnered with the Kauai Humane Society as part of their Enrich Program. Guests at the Grand Hyatt can check with the resort about transportation and planned activities.

  

US Virgin Islands

New York

St. John, US Virgin Islands

Friends of Virgin Island National Park needs volunteer help with trail clean up and other tasks within the National Park. Volunteers can show up at the National Park Maintenance parking lot on any Tuesday or Thursday at 8 a.m. For more information, see this page on their website: Friends of Virgin Island National Park Volunteers.

Around the U.S.

Habitat for Humanity offers numerous opportunities for volunteer vacations throughout the United States and around the world. One- and two-week volunteer trips are available, as well as a number of specialized opportunities including RV Care-A-Vanners, Youth Programs, Women Build, Veterans Build, and A Brush with Kindness helping to renovate existing homes. For more information on voluntourism opportunities, visit the volunteering page on their website at habitat.org. Habitat for Humanity also seeks large and small donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares and more for their ReStores located around the country. Donations can be dropped off or a pick-up can be arranged. For more information, visit: habitat.org/restores/donate-goods.

HistoriCorps is a US 501c3 non-profit organization that helps to preserve historic structures on public lands across the United States. Volunteers are needed to help with a wide variety of projects. There is no fee to participate and no specific skills are needed. Volunteers will work alongside trained HistoriCorps Field Staff. All volunteers are typically provided with a campside, three meals a day plus snacks, tools, safety equipment, building materials and guidance from trained staff – all free of charge. For more information, visit historicorps.org/. The organization's phone number is 303-893-4260 and their email address is info@historicorps.org

The Nature Corps, a volunteer conservation organization, has been leading programs in California for 26 years. Their programs have received a number of state and national awards from organizations including the National Park Service, American Express and the Department of the Interior. They offer all-inclusive volunteer vacation programs in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and several locations in California including Yosemite National Park, Morro Bay and Hearst Castle State Parks. Guests must be at least 8 years of age. Programs typically last for three days and work includes restoring meadows, re-vegetating important wildlife habitats, protecting giant sequoias, working alongside biologists to help preserve ecosystems, undertaking conservation & maintenance projects, replacing invasive plants with native vegetation and other activities. For more information, visit the organization's website at Thenaturecorps.org/, email info@thenaturecorps.org or call 800-774-PARK.

Sierra Club was founded by conservationist John Muir and is the largest environmental organization in the United States. They lead over 20,000 local and international outings each year. Volunteer trips for adults and families are offered throughout the year to a variety of locations around the country including Hawaii, Massachusetts, Florida, Kentucky, California, Utah and Colorado. Volunteer work may include activities such as trail building and repair, restoration projects, cleanup work, removing invasive species, building “creature caves” to provide mountain animals with a little extra protection, and other projects. For more information, follow this link to: Sierraclub.org Trip-Types. The Sierra Club's main offices are located in San Francisco, California. Their telephone number is 415-977-5522.

Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) connects volunteers with organic farms and growers who need assistance. Tasks may include activities such as wine making, cheese making, bread making, sowing seed, gardening, planting, harvesting, milking, feeding and more. WWOOF started in England in 1971 and has since spread to countries around the world. The United States has one of the largest WWOOF organizations worldwide, second to Australia. The remaining top five largest organizations include New Zealand, Canada and France. Volunteers usually live with their hosts and work for 4-6 hours per day in exchange for accommodations and food. Volunteers must generally be 18 years of age, although some hosts welcome families with children. Most WWOOF volunteer visits last 1-2 weeks, but they can be as short as a few days or as long as several months. For more information on volunteering with WWOOF, visit the WWOOF website at wwoof.net.