Traveling abroad while serving others doesn't need to be as time consuming or expensive as many might think. Globe Aware, the nationally recognized international volunteer vacation organization, offers up five tips to help you make the most of your volunteer vacation time while keeping costs to a minimum:
- Seek out volunteer programs with only a one week time commitment and try to choose a week that coincides with a normal paid holiday. This way the total days taken off from work is minimized and so is the impact on your pay check.
- Choose a non profit organization to facilitate your volunteer program. By going with a non profit you are able to deduct the costs associated with volunteer travel from your yearly income taxes.
- Check with your employer to see if your company matches employee contributions to charitable organizations. If so, your employer's generosity could slash the cost of international volunteer participation in half!
- Search for grant opportunities available to help people fund international volunteer service. For instance, Travelocity's Travel for Good Program awards a $5,000 grant each quarter.
- Ask family and friends for support. Many volunteers fundraise to cover the costs associated with international volunteer service. Find a cause that you care about and ask family and friends to sponsor you in any amount they are able. Remember, many small contributions add up to a big total!
For more information on how to take advantage of a volunteer vacation you can visit Globe Aware at www.globeaware.org
Globe Aware(R) is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit charity that mobilizes short term volunteer vacations around the world. These adventures in service focus on promoting cultural awareness and sustainability and are often compared to a mini "peace corps" experience. All volunteers are accompanied by a bilingual volunteer coordinator to assist the volunteer throughout their program. The program fee and the airfare to get there are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Globe Aware is a member of International Volunteer Programs Association, Volunteers for Prosperity, the Building Bridges Coalition, maintains United Nations Consultative Status for the Social and Economic Council, and administers the President's Volunteer Service Awards. Additionally, Globe Aware offsets its carbon emissions with Carbonfund.org, the country's leading carbon offset organization. Our carbon footprint is estimated at less than 70 tons annually, and we have chosen to support carbon-reducing projects in renewable energy to offset the CO2 that is produced in running our offices worldwide, from powering our offices to the transportation used to get to and from our work sites. This commitment places Globe Aware as an environmental leader in the volunteer abroad community and demonstrates proactive steps being taken in the fight against global climate change.