Don’t just say goodbye after your Greenheart Travel program, make a positive impact your host community will remember you by and truly travel for a change. Volunteering your time and talents to make a difference in your exchange community is a wonderful way to say “thank you.” Your exchange community has taken you in and taught you many things over the course of this year, and here are some great ideas on how you can give back!
Ideas for how to serve your communities:
- Clean up a park or beach. Leave your exchange home more beautiful than it was before you left. Take part in cleaning up trash and debris. If there are no organized cleanups, organize it yourself and get a group of friends and family members together!
- Plant trees. Planting trees, gardens, or any greenery is like giving your community new life. You are not only making it more beautiful but you are also making the air fresher and more alive! Ask around to see if there are any community gardens or municipal areas that are in need of a little Greenheart tender loving care.
- Volunteer at a library. In many communities, libraries are a center for civil activity. By helping out at your local library you are giving your community a helping hand in promoting education, creativity, and friendship.
- Serve food to those in need. In many communities the homeless and hungry are ignored. Spend some time giving to those in your community who really need it and brighten someone’s day.
- Bring awareness to a social or environmental cause that you care about. Do you feel that your community would benefit from additional education in a social or environmental cause? Let them know! Open them up to new ideas. There are probably many people in your community who will support you. If there is already a group promoting a cause that you care about, get involved! Be happy in knowing that not only have you been impacted by your exchange community but you have equally impacted those around you in a positive way.
- Tutor someone in English. You’ve been lucky enough to learn a new language while you’ve been abroad. Give that gift to those around you!
Things to remember after you’ve decided where you want to volunteer:
- Be clear on how volunteering is defined in your host country. Volunteer service can mean different things to different people. Here at Greenheart Travel, volunteer service is defined “as any work done for the benefit of others or the environment without any direct financial, material, or personal compensation or gain.” Check out our volunteer definitions page for further information on what we consider to be volunteering.
- Remember to log your hours on the Greenheart Club website in order to be rewarded by the Greenheart Club for your hard work!
- Log 30+ hours! After you have logged 30+ hours you are eligible for a Greenheart Club Grant to do a project in your home community.
Just remember, you have the power to positively impact those around you. You can use that power to say “thank you” to those you care about and leave an imprint which you will be remembered by.