Do Good Things: Volunteering While Traveling


I honestly had no intentions of doing any good deeds while spending time in NYC, but as it always goes, good deeds find me. Yesterday was no different. While catching the sailboats and sunbathers and dancers on the pier before walking up to 23rd and 8th for dinner with friends at BBQ’s, I was approached by a group of folks asking if I’d like to take a little time to volunteer for a great cause: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). When helping others is what’s happening, there is always at least a little bit of time, even when traveling.

What’s strange is this: I’ve been reading Tuesdays with Morrie for the last few days, and if you had the chance to read it, you know it’s about this very condition. An amazing book. On top of that, I’ve been thinking about my friend who was recently diagnoses with ALS for the last week or so, and finally had a moment to catch up with him and see how he’s been handling things. And now, here are these folks with red buckets and t-shirts, asking me to dump ice water over my head as part of a challenge. “Every August until there’s a cure,” we shouted.


Travel with a purpose. In just about every country, city, community, space, there’s a place to sign your name on a line and give back somehow. Dubai was about giving books to children, London was about helping political refugees set up their new life, and helping local revolutionaries create an action plan, and Amsterdam was about helping in the fight against racism, much like we’re doing in America.


There are literally thousands of fields for you to choose and even more amazing people to join. Some that will even pay for you to get there and perhaps provide housing. Check out the links below for more information:

How To Ethically Volunteer
Volunteer Vacations
Volunteer Abroad: Go Abroad
Go Voluntouring!
International Volunteer Headquarter
8 Reasons Why Travel is Good For Your Health
The Happy Africa Foundation
Volunteer World

Go be great so others can too!

Darnell Lamont Walker, a self-professed traveling foodie, has been found sitting at tables eating baby goat sweetbreads, drinking tequila, and laughing loudly with strangers. The writer, filmmaker, artist, and sometimes photographer puts happiness above all.