Holiday season NGO volunteer work for me and my 2 grown sons?
September 11, 2010 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Help me find an NGO like Penn's Haiti project to volunteer over the Dec.-New Years' period. The reason I can't do J/P is because my two sons (18 and 21) will be joining me and they don't allow volunteers under the age of 21.

Another one I've looked at is a home building project in Kenya that allows 18 year olds, but that was simply too expensive to get all three us there (~$6k before airfare)

I actually have quite a bit of flexibility and am thinking about going early in December and having my sons meet me (where ever) over the actual Christmas break.

It doesn't have to be international (we're in the States) - if there's something in the 9th ward, that's great too.
posted by victors to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here is your first link, corrected.
posted by Forktine at 4:47 PM on September 11, 2010

sigh - thanks. maybe the mods can correct for real
posted by victors at 5:08 PM on September 11, 2010

I saw your post and started googling. I found Lonely Planet's Forum on Living and Working Abroad. Here is a review thread about i-to-i -- the company sponsoring the home building project in Kenya. In that thread, I found a reference to United Planet which is a non-profit organization that links volunteers with projects. They have a page on family projects.

I'm glad I saw this post -- I've been interested in doing this type of thing for some time. Both my sister and a colleague at work have been on missions with their church to Haiti and Azerbaijan, but I'm not a church-goer. It looks like there are secular organizations doing something similar.

Hope you and your sons have a great Christmas.
posted by elmay at 6:30 PM on September 11, 2010

Thanks - I did look at United Planet but they are even more expensive than than i-to-i - which is to say that I'm not looking for bargain basement and I totally understand why these folks charge what they do (it's kind of the point) but I can't layout upwards of $8k for 2-3 weeks of us being [where ever]. I also don't feel comfortable asking them to give me a "break on the price" because that should go to others who have no resources at all. I have some, just not quite that much.

I should probably also mention that whatever organization we end up with, it has to be 100% secular.

I'm still holding out hope there is a short-term program we can hook up with that isn't readily google-able...
posted by victors at 12:08 AM on September 12, 2010

New Orleans Habitat for Humanity has a standing call for volunteers and welcomes anyone 18 or over.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:50 AM on September 12, 2010

Oh, I just realized I don't know if you would consider Habitat secular or not. It is not specifically affiliated with any religious group, but it has a history of relationship with faith communities. If they are not secular enough for you, I apologize. I spent a lot of time volunteering in New Orleans following Katrina and honestly never heard of a single 100% secular group working there.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:52 AM on September 12, 2010

Yup, looked at NOHH - the problem there, according to their calendar), is the dates my younger son is on break (Dec 23 - Jan 3) they have exactly 2 days available for volunteering.

And they are secular enough.
posted by victors at 9:14 AM on September 12, 2010

The St. Bernard Project, in the greater New Orleans area might be worth checking out.
posted by goodnight moon at 7:05 PM on September 12, 2010

Thanks, that seems like a good lead - I am waiting to hear back from them now...
posted by victors at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2010

yup it looks like st. b may just work out - thanks.
posted by victors at 1:35 PM on September 13, 2010

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