voluntourism

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A few years ago a friend of mine went to Guatemala on a volunteer mission with the Peace Corps. She sent regular updates (when she could get email access), introducing us to the village children, the friends she made, the Biblical rains, lack of plumbing and arresting views she had from her humble block-and-tin home.
Kim NOLA
This is a guest blog post from Reed Sandridge.  Sandridge lost his job in 2009 and did the unthinkable - he started giving away $10 a day to complete strangers!  He captured the story of every recipient at www.yearofgiving.org.  A frequent writer and speaker on volunteering and micro-philanthropy, Sandridge lives in our nation's capital.
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Regular readers of this space know that we are big on passion - namely following yours and seeking volunteering opportunities that allow you do that while helping nurture others' passions as well.
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What image pops into your head when you hear the word 'volunteers'? Chances are you picture a woman, which makes sense because most volunteers are female - an offshoot, probably, of the old days when women sought meaningful ways to fill their free time after raising kids.
I've spent a lot of time in the Third World and it never ceases to wrench my heart when I see the street dogs and cats loping, limping and lying around in various states of neglect and poor health. It's not surprising: This is an understandable byproduct of economies that leave many humans living on the outer margins.
Black volunteers
As part of our ongoing recognition of Black History Month, I thought it would be nice to highlight a black volunteering and philanthropic blog called Black Gives Back.
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According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees service programs, volunteering rose 1.5% in 2008. That's great news for a statistic that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has "stayed static" for 40 years. A great story from USA Today is worth checking out - it's all about volunteerism and I Participate, a program of which AARP is a partner.
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AARP staff joins volunteers from around the country to continue rebuilding efforts in St. Bernard's Parish, Louisiana
Tom Nelson, COO here at AARP, has been passionate about the Serve America Act that President Obama signed today. Here's a guest blog from Tom about why this legislation is so important to AARP, you, and our country:
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