Joining a Not for Profit Organization
Poverty is evident while traveling. Whether you’re meeting beggars in the streets or observing the lifestyles of tribes, you can’t be blind to the kids who suffer in all of this. Most of those kids will never be exposed to education, let alone traveling. After returning from two semesters abroad and some backpacking experiences, I was grateful to be handed all these great opportunities and felt that it was my turn to give back. And so, I began an online search for not-for-profit organizations. While I stumbled upon many interesting ones, most of them seemed to be more of a job than volunteer. I completely understand how committing to a cause or individual is vital, especially when dealing with kids but the long application forms, the references and the hours requirements turned me off.
After many hours of research, I finally came across Make-a-Wish foundation, an international not for profit organization that grants wishes to children who have a terminally ill disease. Their presence is in over 35 countries across all 5 continents. An interest surfaced after reading their mission (to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy) and reading that volunteering for them would be somewhat based on my availability. Motivated and willing to help others, I contacted the office in Montreal and began to volunteer. In 2 years, I’ve helped grant two wishes. Ironically, both of them wanted to visit Walt Disney and of course, their wish came true. Both of them are doing very well so it’s very rewarding to see their dreams come true as well as knowing that their health has improved over time.
If you’ve been thinking about giving back to society but not sure how, I highly suggest you join a not for profit organization of your choice. It’s really up to you to choose what type of organization you want to help. But I can tell you that’s it’s one of the most rewarding experiences so far. You won’t regret it!
Great article with some very useful information. I think many travellers have come across this sort of thing and wondered how they could help.
Yeah. You just feel so lucky that not giving back to others feels like your being selfish!