Travel Abroad with Habitat for Humanity
Combine volunteer work and international travel with Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program! The program sends volunteers to build and rebuild all over the world. Currently they have trips going to Portugal, Honduras, Zambia, and more. Trips last one to two weeks and allow volunteers to not only help out and make a difference, but also explore a new country and experience a new culture.
Though the trips do cost money, it is a reasonable fee considering it includes all accomodations, food, in-country transportation, and travel medical insurance. Further, you can choose to fundraise and have others sponsor you on your trip abroad—Habitat for Humanity even provides you with a Fundraising Toolkit to aid in your efforts!
Save a shelter animal
For me, this would be the most rewarding item to add to your Philanthropic Bucket List! Why? Because you gain a loyal best friend! I truly believe that rescued shelter animals are more thankful to their humans—I feel they remember how lonely and scary the shelter was and are then more thankful, loving, and appreciative of their humans. All my pets have been shelter pets, and I have found such amazing little personalities inside the walls of my local shelter. If I could I would rescue them all, but the best I can do right now is to encourage others to add this life-changing experience to their Bucket List! Interested in saving a life? Check out The Shelter Pet Project, a non-profit organization focused on making shelters the first place potential adopters turn to when looking for a pet. On their website you can search for a pet, find the shelters closest to you, and learn more about adopting from a shelter.
Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
I believe a lot of the stigma associated with homelessness comes from not only a harsh stereotype, but an uneasiness brought about by too much distance. The homeless are looked at almost as animals—as nuisances. But have you ever talked to a homeless person? Have you ever listened to their story? Most people would say no. It’s quite an experience to interact and serve food to the homeless. At the very least you’ve done a good deed, and at best you’ve walked out with a new respect and understanding of homeless individuals. This experience can give you perspective on your own life, and may just give you a new appreciation for what you have, no matter how small. Check out Feeding America’s network of food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens for a good idea of where you can go to help out.
Anything else you feel should be added to a Philanthropic Bucket List?