volunteer around the world

Your impact is not limited to the time spent in a uniform, on a ship or during combat. Service members and veterans can continue to do good for humanity as consciences travelers. Here are some volunteer resources, programs and opportunities, so you can resume your duties as a hero in this world.

why volunteer?

Volunteering is a two-way street that provides benefits to both the organization and the volunteer. It is an instrumental force in promoting positive and sustainable growth within communities, while increasing social connections, improving mental and physical health and improving employability for volunteers.

Whether you volunteer to build houses for disadvantaged veterans, help rescue sea turtles in the Galapagos, or provide medical assistance in developing countries, you will be exposed to new processes, procedures and resources that will expand your knowledge and skills. Volunteering allows you to learn new abilities, techniques and talents along the way! 

There are millions of ways you can engage in volunteer work to help others. But it’s important to find volunteering work that suits your skills and interests. We’ve curated a list of the main types of volunteer work and the projects they cover. Within each of these categories, discover a wide range of volunteer projects and organizations that you can get involved with.

Help Conserve the Planet & Resources

Combine your love of nature and the outdoors by volunteering in environmental conservation. Reforestation, beach cleanups, nature trail construction and invasive species management are just some volunteer work examples.

These volunteer roles are often very hands-on and physically demanding, as you spend long days (or weeks) on your feet and out in the elements. In return, you’ll gain experience both working independently and as part of a team, while learning about conservation, endangered species management and animal protection, as well as getting to explore the great outdoors.

Volunteering on a farm is a also great way to get back with nature and learn important life skills. Farms are always looking for reliable and fit volunteers to help with tasks such as animal care, feeding, harvesting, building and repairs.

Here are some of the best volunteer organizations for environmental conservation!

Help Care For & Protect Animals

As development continues to spread, it’s important to protect native animals and their natural habitats. Getting involved with wildlife conservation projects affords you the opportunity to help care for, rescue and protect all animal species. From rehabilitating elephants in Asia to protecting turtle eggs from predators in Costa Rica, you’ll be hard pressed to find an animal without continued volunteer efforts across the globe. 

For local volunteer opportunities, animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help clean cages, feed animals, walk dogs, play with cats and conduct behavioral training. Less hands-on tasks such as fundraising, events, social media, accounting, and IT are all examples of volunteer work that could also be done virtually.

Animal lovers may also want to look into animal adoption, fostering, or training as this is a great way to aid animal populations at home.

Here are some of the best volunteer organizations for animal conservation!

Help Children, Veterans, Minorities & More!

Community development is generally defined as groups of people working together towards a common goal to build a stronger community. As a community development volunteer, join forces with organizations to improve the livelihoods of veterans, disadvantaged youths, minority groups and more! As you can imagine, this type of volunteering is one of the most challenging and diverse, while also being extremely rewarding.

If you love working with children, volunteering with youth clubs, schools, scouts or summer camps are popular types of volunteering work! There are also a number of charities that support families with high needs children by offering play sessions, health services and emotional support. 

If you’re passionate about teaching, there are always a huge demand for volunteer teachers worldwide. Volunteer teachers are responsible for taking classes, preparing lesson plans, assigning tasks to students, administering tests, grading student work and making learning fun and engaging for both adults and children. Volunteer teaching work can also be done online, and it may take the form of tutoring local children, holding conversations with English learners or teaching school children in developing countries.

Community volunteer work also entails activities such as food drives, homeless outreach, migrant and refuge assistance,  domestic violence support,  or even natural disaster efforts. 

Here are some of the best volunteer organizations for community development!

Provide Medical Care & Save Lives

While opportunities abound for specialized skills, from first-aid training to heart surgery, you don’t necessarily need to be a medical professional to assist in a community health clinic or public hospital. Volunteers may be able to help organize workshops, assist medical staff, provide translation skills, or raise awareness on issues such as HIV/AIDS.

An often forgotten population, elderly people constantly need assistance to improve their lives as they get older. From volunteering at a nursing home and delivering Meals on Wheels, to helping an elderly shopper at the grocery store, or simply calling and checking in each morning, this demographic requires volunteers every day, everywhere.

For those looking to pursue a career in counselling, volunteering while studying is a great way to put your studies into practice and gain real-world experience and contacts. Working on a voluntary basis will provide you with vital skills  which will be invaluable for your  career path in this  rapidly expanding field. Common volunteer work for people with counselling training may be offering compassionate support to crime victims, people struggling with mental health issues, grief counselling, domestic and family issues or during criminal justice proceedings.

Here are some of the best volunteer organizations for healthcare!

Help Others Heal Through the Outdoors & Recreation

The number of conclusive reports about the benefits of being outdoors or engaging in recreational activities are enormous! Volunteer work with outdoor & recreational organizations are incredibly diverse and fun! 

From major sporting events such as the Super Bowl or Olympics, to local marathons and neighborhood surf lessons, this is an engaging volunteer category for any person. Volunteers are often the ‘magic makers’ who create a positive environment, driving participants, guests and volunteers to return year after year. 

Most grassroots sports clubs are run entirely by passionate and dedicated volunteers. They are always on the look for friendly people who can help coach individuals on the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, motivation, health and fitness.

Here are some of the best volunteer organizations for outdoor and recreational enthusiasts! 

There are an overwhelming amount of volunteer opportunities and although the genres above have several specific organizations to work with, we wanted to include additional resources that have expansive search engines for volunteerism. 

These are some of the top volunteer websites to help narrow down your search! They include activities, locations and interests, helping make your volunteer experience meaningful and engaging.