Now that I’ve given you a week of blow-by-blow insider detail and a look at how fun volunteering while on vacation can be, let’s do a quick review. First question people always ask, “How can I do something like this or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity?” Joining a GV Team with Habitat for Humanity is usually the easiest part I find. Before signing up for the first plane to Uganda to help build homes start by learning about the organization. Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. Their mission is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. I was introduced long ago when I read an article in TeenPeople Magazine about Sarah Michelle Gellar doing GV builds in Dominican Republic. I was so inspired I immediately looked Habitat up and followed homeowner, volunteers and other participant stories on their website until taking off for my first build.
There are many ways to get involved with Habitat. Check out their Get Involved page to find an opportunity for you. Global Village builds often leave people wishing they had done more. AmeriCorps/VISTA has several long term programs (up to one year) with Habitat located in many different locations throughout the U.S. If travel to foreign lands to lend your hand is what you are after, head right to the Global Village Program. Search the list of available trips and then apply online or download the application to submit via post. From this point there are two roads you can take, possibly more if you are a sharp thinker. One road is to raise the money for your trip expenses by fundraising and other activities. The second road is to raise the money from your very own paycheck or savings. I’ve taken both roads and I’ll say the first is much better if you have the time and can be a great way to spread the word and get others involved with Habitat and their mission.
Once you’ve taken care of all of the above, you’re pretty much on your way to fun times and doing great things. Beyond all it’s one of the most rewarding ways to spend your time, energy and did I mention work hard!
- Volunteer Vacation Day One: Shovels, Buckets, & the Pit
- Volunteer Vacation Day Two: Making Concrete Is Not Easy
- Volunteer Vacation Day Three: More Dirt, More Mud
- Volunteer Vacation Day Four: Bringing Mud to the Roof
- Volunteer Vacation Day Five: Third Home, Same Duties
- Volunteer Vacation Day Six: Every Hand on a Bucket
- Volunteer Vacation Day Seven: Last Day of Building