Volunteering Vacations

A trip will do you good. These trips can do good for others too.




Travel with an ulterior purpose doesn’t always work. Consider the sailor in the old song who joined the Navy to see the world. “And what did I see?” he sang plaintively. “I saw the sea.” Still, if glimpsing new places and helping others are both on your 2019 “to-do” list, you may be able to do both—perhaps even with the whole family. A growing number of “voluntourism” opportunities offer to take multigenerational travelers to exotic locations and give them altruistic ways to engage with local cultures and assist people—and animals—in need. Here are four tours worth exploring:

RESCUE ELEPHANTS IN KENYA

Take a digital detox and unplug to walk on the wild side in the heart of Africa. From safari to service project, every member of your clan will be awestruck and inspired during this once-in-a-lifetime trip organized by Elevate Destinations travel group. This off-the-grid holiday safari adventure boasts accommodations in secluded, family-friendly luxury lodges on the fringes of Nairobi National Park and an agenda packed with custom-designed activities for your family members’ needs and interests. Volunteer opportunities can include preparing and serving meals for children in need. Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation center to adopt one of these majestic—and arguably adorable—creatures. Then get close to the world’s tallest living terrestrial animals at the nearby Giraffe Center.

When your volunteer and educational excursions are over, explore the lively city of Nairobi, soak in the wonders of nature while exploring the endless plains of Laikipia and venture out into the bush on walking safaris guided by local Maasai warriors. Enjoy picnics set in the open wilderness, birdwatching, scenic sundown cocktail hours and night drives to spy on nocturnal creatures. The possibilities are as vast as the African landscape!

BUILD A SCHOOL IN MOROCCO

When your kids get back from this break, we bet they’ll ace their “What I did on my vacation” essays. Your Moroccan trip will be sure to earn them merit points if they’ve volunteered to help build a community classroom or library in a Berber village. The longest-established inhabitants of Morocco, the Berber people come from a feudal society that has proudly preserved its culture and traditions. In another tour organized by Hands Up Holiday, you’ll be working side by side with natives on this project—a true labor of love to educate local children and raise their standard of living.

During your free time, continue your quest for knowledge and adventure with private guided tours of magical Marrakesh and Fes, hikes on the Atlas Mountains, camel rides in the Sahara, kite surfing on the coast or a visit to the blue-washed walls of the city of Chefchaouen. Be sure to take the time to enjoy the famous Berber hospitality over a cup of mint tea.

PRESERVE BIRD LIFE IN NEW ZEALAND

This dreamy island nation has it all—mountains, beaches, geysers, lakes and wine country. It’s compact enough to explore in a couple of weeks but sufficiently diverse to keep you coming back for more. Taking an eco-centric luxury vacation to this bucket-list destination through the Hands Up Holiday tour company will be made even more memorable when you head out to the wops to help conserve habitats for native sea birds on the North Island or penguins on the South Island. But this tour isn’t all work and no play. If your brood is the adventure-seeking type, you can go sailing on the Bay of Islands, swim with dolphins, enjoy a private guided tour of geysers, explore hidden hot springs, take a helicopter flight for a bird’s-eye view of a live volcano and even heli-hike on a glacier!

FEED THOSE IN NEED IN GREECE

The chance to enjoy local fare is always an enticing travel lure; feeding your soul while doing so is priceless. And that’s just what you’ll gain through participating in International Volunteer HQ’s food outreach program in Chios, Greece. As part of your two-week experience, you and your family will not only enjoy Greek food, but help others in need do so too by providing daily meals to residents of nursing homes, public schools and special-needs care centers.

During the week, you’ll connect with local community members and savor the satisfaction of making and delivering food and smiles to local residents. On the weekend, you’ll explore Chios, the fifth largest island in Greece, where beautiful beaches, quaint medieval villages, breathtaking coastline views and historical sites abound. You can islandhop or take a day trip to nearby Turkey. If you want to stay longer or travel before or after the program, indulge your wanderlust further afield by visiting Athens and other great destinations throughout Greece to feast on the region’s rich history, culture and natural beauty.

“After my 12-year-old daughter read the book I Will Always Write Back, she asked my husband and me if she could forgo her bat mitzvah party, and instead go to Africa to do volunteer work with children. We decided this would be an experience we should have as a family and planned a trip to Kenya this past August through Elevate Destinations. The volunteering was our favorite part of the trip. The safari was amazing, but we wished we had planned more time for volunteer work.” —Toby Hirsch, Alpine

“There are ways to make doing good doable when traveling. Sprinkling in elements of service work with cultural immersions and fun activities allows multiple family members—from grandparents to young children—to work together while keeping everyone happy.” —Theresa Jackson, Mahwah resident and travel advisor for Enlightened Journeys Travel, Allendale

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April 2019

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Bob Malgieri, Turf, Tree and Shrub Manager for Borst Landscape and Design will discuss everything from proper installation, how to pick the right plants, how to care for them with fertilization and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 201-529-7323
Contact Name: Mahwah Public Library
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Thinking about Spring, warmer temps, sunny skies and getting in shape? BEGINNERS RUNNING SPRING PROGRAM sponsored by the North Jersey Masters non profit running club is starting up it's next...

Cost: $90.00

Where:
Ridgewood Duck Pond
1133 East Ridgewood Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ  07450
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Sponsor: North Jersey Masters
Telephone: 201-540-9701
Contact Name: Linda Ferraro
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This condition can impinge on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves. Learn about the latest advances in the management and treatment of Spinal Stenosis. Gaetan Moise, MD, FAANS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mahwah Public Library
100 Ridge Road
Mahwah, NJ  07430
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Sponsor: Mahwah Public Library
Telephone: 1-800-825-5391
Contact Name: Valley Hospital
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Celebrate the organization's 86 years of serving the community, as "Neighbors Helping Neighbors". The gala's net proceeds are used to meet the pressing issues of people in need in...

Cost: $185 per person, $250 per patron, $1,500 for table of 10

Where:
Montammy Golf Club
7 Montammy Drive
Alpine, NJ  07620
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Sponsor: The Community Chest
Telephone: 201-568-7474
Contact Name: Dr. Shelly Wimpfheimer
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(Eastern Bergen County, New Jersey; April 11, 2019) --The Community Chest holds its spring gala, Make A Difference in Our Community, on April 25, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.  The Chest, a nonprofit,...

Cost: 185

Where:
Montammy Golf Club
7 Montammy Drive
Alpine, NJ
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Telephone: 201-592-9126
Contact Name: Luhrs & Associates

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“JOEL ZELNIK TRIO” Brian Glassman – Bass David Cox – Drums Holli Ross- Vocals This screening is hosted by pianist Joel Zelnik and his trio plus Holli Ross,...

Cost: $20 online $10 at the door

Where:
Ciccone Theater- Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ  07052
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Sponsor: joel zelnik trio
Telephone: 201-784-9080
Contact Name: joel zelnik
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“JOEL ZELNIK TRIO” Brian Glassman – Bass David Cox – Drums Holli Ross- Vocals This screening is hosted by pianist Joel Zelnik and his trio plus Holli Ross,...

Cost: $20 online $10 at the door

Where:
Ciccone Theater- Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ  07052
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Sponsor: joel zelnik trio
Telephone: 201-784-9080
Contact Name: joel zelnik
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Thinking about Spring, warmer temps, sunny skies and getting in shape? BEGINNERS RUNNING SPRING PROGRAM sponsored by the North Jersey Masters non profit running club is starting up it's next...

Cost: $90.00

Where:
Glen Rock Duck Pond
149 Alan Avenue
Glen Rock, NJ
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Sponsor: North Jersey Masters
Telephone: 201-540-9701
Contact Name: Linda Ferraro
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CITY OF SCIENCE: High School Edition Premieres in New Jersey Explore the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activate a Warped Space Gravity Simulator, Tour Labs, Explore Careers in...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rothman Center
140 University Plaza Drive
Hackensack, NJ  07671
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Sponsor: World Science Festival / Fairleigh Dickinson University
Telephone: 646-784-2697
Contact Name: Jen
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FDU will be hosting the City of Science Festival on Saturday, April 27, 11 am – 5 pm.  This is a World Science Festival event that will feature hands-on, fun-filled STEM activities for middle...

Cost: Free

Where:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rothman Center
140 University Plaza
Hackensack, NJ  07601
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CITY OF SCIENCE: High School Edition Premieres in New Jersey Explore the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activate a Warped Space Gravity Simulator, Tour Labs, Explore Careers in...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rothman Center
140 University Plaza Drive
Hackensack, NJ  07671
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Sponsor: Produced by the World Science Festival and presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University
Telephone: 212.348.1400
Website »

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CITY OF SCIENCE: High School Edition Premieres in New Jersey Explore the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activate a Warped Space Gravity Simulator, Tour Labs, Explore Careers in...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rothman Center
140 University Plaza Drive
Hackensack, NJ  07671
View map »


Sponsor: World Science Festival / Fairleigh Dickinson University
Telephone: 212.348.1400
Website »

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CITY OF SCIENCE: High School Edition Premieres in New Jersey Explore the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Activate a Warped Space Gravity Simulator, Tour Labs, Explore Careers in...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rothman Center
140 University Plaza Drive
Hackensack, NJ  07671
View map »


Sponsor: Produced by the World Science Festival and presented by Fairleigh Dickinson University
Telephone: 212.348.1400
Website »

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Join us for a night of Wine Tasting on Saturday, April 27 from 7:00-10:00pm at the Parish Life Center of Saint Joseph Church, Elm Street, Oradell, NJ 07649. Proceeds from this event to benefit the...

Cost: $50 per person

Where:
Saint Joseph Church Parish Life Center
Elm Street
Oradell, NJ  07649
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Telephone: 201-669-2473
Contact Name: Tom Kohli

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The Eve of St. Mark  A Staged Reading Presented by the First Flight Theatre Co. to Benefit the Hermitage Museum Saturday, April 27th at 7:30pm   Set during World War...

Cost: 20.00

Where:
The Hermitage Museum
335 North Franklin Tpke
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ  07423
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