If you love to travel, meet new people and experience different cultures, volunteer vacations are a great way to see the world. I've volunteered in the Canary Islands, Mexico and Jamaica. So, when I visited Thailand recently, I stopped by the local orphanage to check out a volunteer opportunity.
It happens one thought at a time, one act of love at a time, one commitment at a time. Make the day you were born more than just a number on a calendar; let it be a celebration of the instant you began to make a difference.
On an August day in 2012, in a remote jungle village in Peru, a group of little girls jostled each other for a turn at a newly installed spigot, where they could fill plastic cups for their first-ever drink of filtered water.
Service creates citizens, and service solves problems. Across the nation, there are ambitious efforts to expand the notion of service -- especially a service year -- as a formative, binding experience and a means to unleash human capital.
I have been a mother for 17 years. It has taken all this time for me to realize children are never too young to teach them to open their hearts.
Every one of us is going to have our own pace. We can't compare ourselves to other dancers, or other people. We need to be patient, and gentle with ourselves. Just do your best and trust in the process. When we keep going, we eventually get there. There are many paths to any destination.
Does the U.S. have a stronger sense of independence than other countries? Could this sense of independence translate into acts of kindness and purpose?
The Peace Corps has always been about igniting a passion for service. When it was created by President John F. Kennedy, it presented a model for international service that was so unique, so unprecedented, that many said it will never work.
Around this time of year, many young people are well into summer jobs. Taking advantage of time between school years, they're gaining skills and experience that can translate to future employment success.
Once you have found an organization you are comfortable with, how do you help them? There are two main ways to consider: Do you support them with a financial gift or do you give your time?
"Every day on my way to and from school, I'd see the same homeless man with shoes that were completely falling apart," says Mimi. "I wanted to do something to help people like him."
As the day progressed, runners, walkers, and volunteers flocked to the registration area where I was working. It became organized chaos. Before long, the entire park was filled with bright yellow and orange shirts emblazoned with the YAI logo.
I have never done anything like this in my life. On a whim, I decided to defer my MD/PhD program to volunteer in Bolivia. I was hoping to make at least a small difference in someone's life.
Eric and Tobe spend most of their efforts with urban, underprivileged demographics. The pair have seen behavioral trends and have stepped up to the challenge in reaching them.
I've been wondering lately if our traditional model of launching one's career - going directly from college into the workforce, maybe hitting grad school along the way - is the best approach out there.
You will likely, over the course of your career, change jobs. Your family and friends? They're with you for the duration. Don't take them for granted.