Voluntourism Opportunities: Lend a Helping Hand Before Relaxing in the Sand

Boardwalk Hiking

On The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, vacations are typically reserved as time off for yourself. However, many out there are struggling and could use a helping hand. When tourism turns into voluntourism, helping others creates opportunities for everyone involved to rejuvenate.

Stop by the Animal Refuge Center (ARC) to help this non-euthanasia organization care for the homeless animals brought into their care. By placing over 500 dogs and cats per year into loving homes and educating citizens on the importance of spaying and neutering, ARC hopes to eliminate euthanasia altogether. Volunteers can work with cats or dogs, socializing them, or providing basic care. There are also clinic volunteer opportunities, but those require prior training.

While homeless animals remain a major concern, homeless persons are an even greater one. There are many ways to help those less fortunate get back on their feet, even if you only have a day or two to contribute. Donate clothes or assist in collecting them, make food donation pickups, or help out as a food pantry assistant at an organization like the Salvation Army.

Another great way to help individuals who are struggling with homelessness or heavy poverty is by participating in a Habitat for Humanity project. Anyone can jump in to help, even for a day, and the activities you can contribute to are varied enough for all skill levels and physical ability. It’s extremely rewarding at the end of the day to see a fully-built home or refurbished space that is going to mean the world to another person.

Helping the elderly in the area can also be a particularly rewarding experience. Organizations like Friendship Centers pair you with someone who could use extra company in their life. You can brighten the day of an isolated elder by volunteering for as little as a single hour or even a fifteen-minute phone call. These visits not only liven the spirits and touch the hearts of those you’re helping, but they will leave a profound impact on you, as well.

There are rewarding volunteering opportunities for meetings groups as well. If you want to do good with your group, look into Conservation 2020 or SCCF.

Donating your time and resources to another community and those in need – be they animals or fellow human beings – will take your vacation to a new level of appreciation. Check out our website for more ways to make your vacation fulfilling, or to find volunteering opportunities.

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