My first foray into travel + volunteering

My boyfriend Jay and I are preparing to set forth on Service Driven, a road trip with a volunteering twist, in February 2011.  The idea is that we will travel throughout the United States and Canada, volunteering along the way.  With my experience as a volunteer manager and working for a volunteer center, I’m optimistic about my ability to make the volunteering part of that plan happen, but I have decided to get a head start by volunteering when we visit his family in Phoenix Arizona for Thanksgiving.

In order to find a place to volunteer, I went to the website for the volunteer center in Phoenix, HandsOn Greater Phoenix.  I was excited to see that they have a “managed project calendar” that is meant to encourage flexible volunteering.  Volunteers can search by date and see most of the details of a wide variety of volunteer projects.  They have everything from kayaking with Arizona Disabled Sports to 4 Paws Kitty Kare Day.

Since I will only be in town 4 days, I had a limited number of projects to choose from.  Several projects were already full, so I ended up signing up for a project called “Garden of Tomorrow: Community Building Through Gardening“.   This project sounds like a fun time outside and a chance to see “asset based community development” in action.  Not to mention, Jay’s family may have an interest in joining me and they still have room for more volunteers on the project.

The community garden is hosted by the Tigermountain Foundation, which has a lot of dead links and confusing information on its website, so I am interested to see what I can learn about the organization when I volunteer on Saturday.  Next week I will let you know what I find out and share how my volunteer experience went.

Challenges / Barriers for Travelling Volunteers:

  • HandsOn Greater Phoenix asks new volunteers to register, attend orientation, and pay a $25 fee before volunteering for projects on their project calendar.
  • The project asks you to bring your own gloves & a potluck dish for lunch afterwards – since we are staying with family we will have access to these supplies, but some volunteers may not.
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3 responses to “My first foray into travel + volunteering

  1. Jay & Sharon,

    Service Driven is SUCH a fantastic idea! Kudos on being motivated and innovative in finding ways to volunteer as you travel. I’ll be sure to keep up with your blog and spread the word when you set off in February.

    Thanks!
    Lacy

    • Thanks for the feedback! By the way, we have looked at Volunteer Card and are trying to see if it would fit with our needs since we are roadtripping in the U.S. rather than taking a trip abroad. What do you think?

      ~Sharon

  2. Pingback: Volunteering in the Community Garden – AKA, Ruining Our Shoes | Service Driven

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