Volunteer Opportunities for Spring Break

Volunteers working in soup kitchen
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If you're a college student looking to spend your spring break volunteering, there are a number of great volunteer organizations in the United States that accept volunteers during this busy time of the year.

These non-profit volunteer organizations and partnerships help link volunteers with opportunities to give back to their local communities as well as impoverished areas abroad. From Habitat for Humanity to United Way, you're sure to find an opportunity to match your interest and spring break schedule at one of these fantastic charities.

Volunteer travel, or voluntourism, combines tourism with a volunteering vacation, and many organizations were created specifically to help match college students with volunteer programs domestically and overseas. You'll be matched with fellow students who share your interests and goals, so it's a great way to meet new friends over your ​spring break, too.

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    Japanese students to plant trees
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    Organizations exist that can hook you up with the one right kind of volunteer project out of a million—one that uses your specific special skill or is the right activity in the right place.

    Volunteer Match is an exceptional resource if you know you want to volunteer but need to find something in a specific location (like near enough to work on weekends) or that precisely matches the skills you’ve got to give.

    The Global Volunteer Network will also help you find a host of volunteer opportunities in 21 countries, and the International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) also provides opportunities in many countries around the world.

    The non-governmental organizations help create an international network of volunteer opportunities and internship exchanges, and if you're looking to volunteer while traveling, these should be your first stop.

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    Volunteers working on construction site
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    Habitat For Humanity is one of the most popular organizations for students looking to lend a helping hand while on spring break. With Habitat for Humanity, you can assist in building homes around the world for people in need—and many of the projects can be completed within a week. You can use Habitat's internal search engine to find a project you'd like to help with, but if you're looking for international work, visit Global Village, the international branch of Habitat for Humanity.

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    Volunteer teacher helping a class of preschool kids drawing
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    United Way has really put together some awesome opportunities, particularly in the storm-torn Gulf Coast of the United States and the wildfire-ravished California mountains and forests. United Way has worked with over 1,8000 communities in more than 40 countries and territories worldwide for over 125 years, and every year, United Way organizes the Alternative Spring Break program for college students. Alternative Spring Break projects range from maintaining shelters and building houses to tending gardens and leading youth development programs, but you'll have to pay a fee to participate that covers your meals, transportation, and lodging as well as project supplies and staff costs.

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    people fighting flood water
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    Whether you're looking to help Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria in 2017 or want to help clean up an oil spill in the ocean, there are a number of organizations out there specifically meant to help volunteers find opportunities to help with disaster relief efforts.

    Break a Difference is one such site vetting volunteer organizations that respond to natural disasters. Break a Difference matches students with local organizations and reviews whether or not these non-profits are helping or hindering the relief efforts.

    The American Hiking Association also offers a number of American  Hiking Volunteer Vacations where you can connect with nature, enjoy a day of hiking and backpacking, spend the night camping or in cabins, and give back by cleaning up as you go to help with conservation efforts.​