“There is no better exercise for your heart than reaching down and helping to lift someone up”

– Bernard Meltzer

Today is International Volunteer Day. However, in my book every day should be a day to volunteer. I am a strong advocate for giving back and believe strongly that everyone who is able should help others in need.

Volunteering does not have to be complicated. In fact, there are little things you can do right in your own backyard to help make the world a better place. For instance, every community has a school which needs volunteers to help out. I volunteer often at my children’s school on fun events and also on day to day tasks such as helping kids learn to read, write and do arithmetic. With the graying population, there is also a lot of need assisting seniors either at care centers, hospitals or just in every day life. With the economy in decline, many people need help just trying to survive. There are many places you can volunteer to give back to the poor such as helping at a food shelf, a donation center or a job/skill retraining center. The list of opportunities to give back and volunteer are endless. All you need is a little bit of time.

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing nothing for nobody.” ~ Malcom Bane

For today’s post, I would like to showcase a few memories of my favorite volunteer experiences over the last few years. With my next volunteer trip approaching in exactly one month (I leave for Honduras on January 5th) I am looking forward to having another opportunity to give back and see the world through new eyes.

Here are links to three posts written on my past three volunteer trips abroad. I’ve chosen the posts that impacted me the most however to read more about each experience, please visit this page for more links:  “Travelanthropy” dedicated to my volunteer experiences.

Post: Life and Death in a Costa Rican Nursing Home


Post: The Trials and Tribulations of Teaching English as a Second Language


Post:  The Children of La Pedrera


What ways do you give back? Why do you find it important to volunteer? Anything ideas you want to share for ways to volunteer and give back over the holiday season?


  1. Great post, Nicole. I had volunteered working in a local hospital two days a week for many years until my full time job got real hectic…

    1. Wonderful Amy! I do have the advantage that I’m a stay at home mom now so I do have more time to volunteer. But not a ton! 🙂 I used to do some NGO work when I was working that met at nights and enabled me to still help out while working. But it is harder. 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.