Voluntourism is big and it’s not just for adults. There are lots of programs at hotels and resorts that enable families and children to give back. You can even work directly with non-profits themselves, like Together for Good and Stuff Your Rucksack, which will let you know what’s needed at schools and orphanages in communities near your travel destination.
Whether you want to help feed the hungry, preserve the environment or improve literacy, there’s most likely a program that would appreciate your assistance. It only takes a few hours while on vacation and volunteering is such a great way to further your bonds as a family. Take a look at a few of the hotels and resorts offering volunteer opportunities to hotel guests.
Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC. Through October 6, book the Do Good, Feel Good package and you and your family will enjoy a VIP tour of DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit that works to combat hunger in Washington, DC. You’ll also help staff at DC Central Kitchen cook up nutritious meals for those in need and the Ritz-Carlton will make a donation to DC Central Kitchen in your name.
The Palms Hotel & Spa (Miami Beach). Guests have the opportunity to participate in several volunteer programs, including Adopt-A-Beach, in which guests can help pick up the area of beach between 29th and 32nd streets in Miami Beach. The hotel also offers an Our Beach is Your Beach package, which includes a two-hour beach walk and a three-hour beach clean-up.
Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Orlando Resort has teamed up with Give Kids the World, a non-profit resort that provides vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses. Families can book three-night getaways that include hotel, park tickets, early park admission and a four-hour volunteer opportunity at Give Kids the World Village.
Kiawah Island Golf Resort. In South Carolina, Kiawah Island Golf Resort has teamed up with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charleston to offer hotel guests a range of volunteer opportunities. Guests can help host game events, bake breakfast treats or deliver items such as crackers, juice boxes and packaged snacks from the Wish List.
Beaches Resorts. Located in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos, Beaches Resorts offers a couple of different voluntourism programs through the Sandals Foundation. Guests can read with students and engage students in learning activities at local schools as part of a Reading Road Trip or engage in mangrove planting to help prevent beach erosion and protect the natural habitats.
If you’re planning a cruise, look to Crystal Cruises, which offers a wide variety of shore excursions all over the world that allow cruise ship passengers help those in need at ports of call. Play with and teach less fortunate children to read in Boston or plant trees and visit with penguins in New Zealand. As of now, there are 14 different volunteer-oriented shore excursions with Crystal Cruises.