Serve to Travel

non-profit + travel

Category: Volunteering (page 1 of 2)

What They Don’t Tell You About Long-Term Volunteering

Volunteering abroad long-term is an amazing experience. You gain the opportunity to travel abroad, experience new cultures, learn new languages and push your personal boundaries. In volunteering abroad, you’re able to use your skills to make a difference in the world. You make memories and friendships that will last with you for a lifetime. There are so many reasons to go abroad to volunteer long-term (but that’s a post for another day). But, there are some things they don’t tell you about long-term volunteering. And, as someone who went abroad to work with non-profits, I wish there is a more honest conversation about the positives and negatives of volunteering abroad. Continue reading

Collaborating with Some of the Best

What to know before volunteering overseas

© Naomi Liz, Roaming the Americas (used with permission)

An exciting thing as an amateur blogger is when a blogger you admire asks you to collaborate on an article. Recently I decided to wade into the blogger world and share my volunteer/travel experiences since leaving the US. In this time, Don’t Forget To Move became a blog I’ve really enjoyed following. I love that they pair traveling with sustainable volunteering. They have a large following and are quite popular, but still have that approachability that other big blogs sometimes loose. So when they approached me earlier this month about collaborating on an article with them, I jumped at the chance.

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The Table: Community Where They Are

The Table, where they meet the community where they are

The Portland community of Louisville is a neighborhood that regularly gets a bad reputation and known as a blue collar, lower income community since it’s establishment in the 1820s. The Great Flood of 1927 severely damaged the community. Characterized by low economic opportunities and poor education, Portland has remained somewhat stagnant in recent years. One of the greatest problems facing the community are drugs and the overall ‘drug economics’.

However, within the Portland community, small flecks of improvement are springing up. Parts of Portland are slowly beginning to change. However, much of the Portland community that runs along the “West Louisville” side, has yet to see much change. Drug use, food insecurity and lack of education (close to 50% of the neighborhood doesn’t have a high school education) are frequent problems. Working to address these issues in the neighborhood is The Table.

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Ways to Give Back in Washington DC

DC Homelessness

Washington DC is a city of extremes. There is high wealth and power alongside poverty. Officially, 19% of Washingtonians live below the poverty line. DC also takes the title of the most expensive city to live. DC has the highest use of food stamp percentage in the United States. 30.5 %of homes with children are unable to provide enough food. This ranks 2nd highest in the nation.

Substance abuse, poverty and violent crime are examples of some of the wide range of interrelated health issues occurring in DC. The city ranks 21st in the country for perscription drug overdose mortality rates. DC’s problems with heroin, crack and cocaine have been well documented as well. 2015 brought a spike in murders, the highest since 2008. Whether living or visiting DC, it is important to give back to those less fortunate and contribute to the solutions of issues the city faces. Every time I am in DC, I make it a priority to volunteer with the organizations that are working to alleviate the issues.

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How to Pick a Good Non-Profit to Volunteer With

volunteers and youth sharing a meal

Knowing how to pick a good non-profit to volunteer with can be tough. There are so many non-profit organizations in developing countries doing (seemingly) a lot of good. But, how do you know if they are truly making a strong impact on the community? Once you know some of the key things to spot, the good non-profits will start sticking out to you.

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Celebrating Mentoring in Guatemala


Growing up, I never really realized the impact that mentoring makes in the lives of kids. It wasn’t until I came to Guatemala that first time that I saw how important positive role models are. The country is filled with a great beauty but also great need. Currently less than 50% of the population is above the age of 18 and violence is common.

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10 Things to Know to Volunteer Like a Pro

Volunteering internationally is a rewarding experience: you experience other cultures, expand your views on the world and have the potential to positively impact people in need. But there is a stark difference between positive and negative volunteering. Before you take off to volunteer internationally, whether it be teaching, helping at a camp or giving medical care, there are certain things you should know before going in order to volunteer like a pro and make the greatest impact:
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Hot and Steamy with a Main Course of Heartbreak


So, I’m super behind with sharing details from the girls camp…. sorry about that.

Background, this is my 4th youth camp with Champions in Action. Every summer, we host youth soccer camps for our boys and girls programs. Our mentorship program is a 1-year program that is kicked off by a week at a retreat center on the eastern coast of Guatemala, 6 hours from the capital. Camp initiates the bond between youth and mentor and allows us to ‘break down’ the kids in order to build them back up. The vast majority of the kids come to us hardened and with so much anger and hate in their hearts. In order to be successful, we need to dig in, open the wounds and build each of them back up.
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