Looking for a vacation that’s not only fun, but also meaningful? Wish you had more time to volunteer in a way that really makes a difference? There’s a simple solution: Plan your next vacation around a great volunteer opportunity.
(BPT) - Looking for a vacation that’s not only fun, but also meaningful? Wish you had more time to volunteer in a way that really makes a difference? There’s a simple solution: Plan your next vacation around a great volunteer opportunity.
Whether on your own or with the entire family, volunteering on vacation is a wonderful way to explore a favorite destination or someplace you’ve always wanted to go, while contributing to a cause you care about. It's also one of the fastest growing travel trends in 2019. According to a Google Consumer survey, one in four travelers report that they plan to volunteer on an upcoming trip, and almost half of travelers (47 percent) say they would choose a vacation destination based on a volunteer opportunity they are passionate about.
With the Travel for Good program from Travelocity, you can easily explore volunteer activities in popular vacation destinations all over the U.S. Most activities require anywhere from just a few hours to a whole day.
Here are just a few of the types of opportunities you can find on their interactive volunteer map.
Concerned about hunger?
Travel to New York City to volunteer for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. This nonprofit organization saves food from New York City restaurants that would otherwise go to waste, and then delivers it to folks who need a helping hand.
Or visit Washington, D.C., to sort food donations, stock shelves and assemble nutritious food packs for elementary school children at Food for Others. Volunteers age 12 and older can sign up for weekday shifts, making it a great opportunity to teach your tween or teen children about how they can make a difference.
Care about animals?
You can spend time at The Nashville Zoo, one of Tennessee’s most popular attractions, to enjoy the wildlife while assisting at one-time volunteer opportunities for special events like the adults-only Brew at the Zoo and holiday-related celebrations for Easter, Halloween and more.
Or if you love cats and dogs, consider volunteering your time to help out at an animal shelter, such as Best Friends Animal Society in New York, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in Washington, D.C., or PAWS Chicago.
Passionate about the environment?
Plan a trip to California to volunteer with Surfrider Foundation, which organizes regular beach cleanups around the Bay Area. Or head farther south to help out at San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization that helps make sure San Diego's waters are safe and clean.
In the Big Easy, help Green Light New Orleans work on sustainable, eco-friendly projects, including installing energy-efficient light bulbs in residential homes, installing rain barrels to collect stormwater runoff and other good deeds.
Want to help build healthier communities?
You could spend your vacation in San Francisco, getting your hands dirty while tending the land at Alemany Farm, the largest urban farm in San Francisco, which educates visitors on how to become healthy food producers and gives away all the food it grows for free.
Or help teach hygiene habits to vulnerable groups in Las Vegas with a volunteer stint at Clean the World Foundation.
Finding a place where you can volunteer on vacation may seem daunting, but it's easy to locate nonprofits in need in some of the top cities across the country by checking out www.travelocity.com/travelforgood. The site also offers tips from fellow volunteer travelers for your next adventure. Make your next vacation both memorable and meaningful by finding the right volunteer opportunity for you.
(BPT) - You begin Monday in your usual morning mood - grumpy. The day quickly turns around, however, after hearing a few funny stories from coworkers. Suddenly you find yourself laughing and enjoying the morning. Your outlook is positive and your spirits have been lifted, and all it took was one hilarious joke. It has to make you wonder: why don't we laugh more often?
Laughter has healing power, and few comedians understood this quite like Lucille Ball. Born in Jamestown, New York on Aug. 6, 1911, Ball went on to star and produce her own show, "I Love Lucy" with husband Desi Arnaz. During its six-year run, "I Love Lucy" became one of the most beloved shows on television. For four seasons, it was the number one sitcom in the country. Why? Because no matter what was going on in their personal lives, audiences knew that for one hour each week, they could tune in for a good laugh and feel a little better.
Even though Ball is no longer with us, her legacy lives on. Today, her hometown in Chautauqua County, New York continues to keep her vision alive and help others through laughter with its National Comedy Center. Here are three ways to experience the fun during your next visit.
Honor the past
Ball enriched the lives of fans all across the country, and with her husband Arnaz, paved the way for many comedians who came after. To honor her legacy, Jamestown opened The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which features original costumes from the show, family film footage and portraits, and even Ball's 1972 Gold Mercedes-Benz. You can also visit Desilu Studios, nicknamed the "I Love Lucy" museum to get an inside look at where the magic happened. Desilu Studios contains costumes, props and Emmy Awards from over 50 years ago, as well as re-created sets from the show.
Celebrate the present
Each year Jamestown's National Comedy Center presents the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival (commonly known as Lucy Fest) on the first weekend of August to celebrate Ball's birthday. In 2016, Lucy Fest runs August 4-7 and includes 50 events at a dozen venues throughout Jamestown where you'll get to laugh along with up-and-coming comedians and attend informative workshops. Past headliners have included Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Joan Rivers, and this year you can expect to see Trevor Noah, Lewis Black and Brian Regan.
Prepare for the future
Comedy fans all over the country will soon be flocking to The National Museum of Comedy, scheduled to open in 2017. A one-of-a-kind attraction, The National Museum of Comedy plans to offer year-round programming, include more than 70 exhibits celebrating comedy, and serve as a national archive of the comedy world. Whether you're interested in becoming a professional comedian or are interested in learning how to use comedy in your personal life, you'll find a wide variety of workshops to attend.
Lucille Ball helped viewers find the humorous side to life and her comedic genius continues to be important today. If you're a fan of "I Love Lucy," comedy or even just laughing, join Jamestown in celebrating the healing power of laughter by visiting Chautauqua County, New York. Lucy Fest is expected to be a smashing success once again, and every other week offers a wide range of activities for comedy fans to enjoy. Find more information to start planning your trip by browsing tourchautauqua.com today.
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