Traveling is more addictive than most controlled substances, but the good news is—volunteering does not have to get in the way of traveling. April is National Volunteer Month, but world travelers may find it difficult to find opportunities that will accommodate country hopping and hostel/hotel stays. Thanks to the World Wide Web there are tons of opportunities available for travel addicts to give back for all the great opportunities and adventures that we have enjoyed and all of the blessings that allow us to live this rambling lifestyle.
- Infinite Family: Mentor a child in South Africa who comes from a family that has been affected by AIDs. This is an easy and fun cultural exchange between you and a child that is much like Big Brother Big Sister if they operated online. You meet with your child once a week for a short period of time and talk to them, help them with school work, play computer games with them—whatever you want. This exchange means the world to them, but you get a lot out of it as well. Some great things about this organization are that you get to work with children, from the comfort of your home or anywhere you have an internet connection, nobody will ask you for money and you are never expected to send gifts.
- United Nations: United Nations Volunteers, or UNV has many virtual opportunities for people who wish to make an impact on society without leaving home, or in the case of the us travelers—their hotel room. This world famous organization could also boost your resume.
- Volunteer Match: This website matches people to their dream volunteer activity and they have a lot to choose from. You can even choose to search for virtual positions only. Help companies anywhere in the world with a virtual volunteer position.
- Amnesty International: Join Amnesty International's letter writing campaign to fight for social justice throughout the world. Their accomplishments are proof that the pen in still a mighty weapon. You will get updates on serious violations that are occurring around the world and you will receive information on where to mail letters in the defense of the individuals affected. People that defend democracy and freedom sometimes need support from those of us who generally take it for granted. To join this effort, click on the tab that says "write for rights."
These are just a few opportunities available for travelers with a heart of gold. Just remember to tailor your search for the perfect volunteer opportunity to your passions and talents.