Global Volunteering Fairs Hit the East Coast this Week

Maybe you’ve been thinking about volunteering abroad, but aren’t sure how to go about it. Where should you go? How long can you afford to stay? What is volunteering abroad really like? How can you be sure you’ll contribute to a meaningful and positive impact?

If you live in New York City, Philadelphia, or Washington, DC, join us next week at one of our 2010 Global Volunteering Fairs where you can chat with representatives from international volunteerism organizations with volunteer projects in communities around the globe.

Here are the details for each city. Click the links to learn more and to register for these free events:

  • New York: Monday, February 1 at Barnard College, 6-9pm
  • Philadelphia: Wednesday, February 3 at the University of Pennsylvania, 5-8pm
  • Washington, DC: Thursday, February 4 at Google, 6-9 pm

This is a great opportunity to learn more about your options for volunteering in another country as well as get answers to some of those lingering questions you’ve had about volunteering abroad. In addition, you can attend free workshops on topics like the basics of international service and strategies for making volunteering abroad more affordable.

Not in New York, Philadelphia, or Washington*? No problem. You can check out Idealist’s free, comprehensive International Volunteerism Resource Center for information, tools, and strategies for exploring, researching, and preparing for international service (plus some resources for those who have recently returned from volunteering abroad.)

* Note: if you’re in Chicago or Los Angeles, you’re in luck; we’re hosting Global Volunteering Fairs in your cities on February 22nd and 25th, respectively. See you then!

The Long Road to Recovery – and How You Can Help

From Flickr user simminch via Creative Commons

Originally posted on‘s homepage blog.

When a major disaster happens in the world, it’s common, and frankly humanity-affirming, for global citizens to want to help. However, when the disaster in question is as devastating as last week’s earthquake in Haiti, it is often the case that the primary way folks are encouraged to get involved is to raise funds, raise voices, and raise awareness. And while fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness are critically important activities to participate in, they can sometimes be frustrating substitutes for those who are seeking to lend a hand in a more direct and tangible way by volunteering.

Yet for those seeking to contribute their skills, time, and energy on the ground in a disaster response situation, the advice Continue reading

Please Pay Attention to the People Behind the Curtain

Think about what it takes to change the world. Now think about all the people involved. I’m not talking about the global leaders here—after all, we’re all familiar with extraordinary figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa—but rather those who contribute behind the scenes, who change the world for the better outside the spotlight’s glare.

For every global leader, there are millions of individuals working, volunteering, and generally doing their part to foster healthy citizens and communities the world over. One such oft behind-the-scenes role that deserves a shout-out today? Volunteer resource managers.

If you’ve had a great volunteer experience somewhere—a role or project where you felt engaged in meaningful work, Continue reading