Destination Donation: Best Places to Give Back in the U.S

As a student, opportunities to volunteer to help the community, environment, or culture as a whole are priceless, great ways to get involved and give something back!

We at AST believe that it is important to both volunteer and travel as a student, which is why we believe that combining the two make for unstoppable, immeasurably valuable trips during your school years.

It's time to start fundraising, asking teachers, and telling other students about all these amazing volunteering opportunities, and don't forget, we can help!

  • Appalachian Mountain Club
    This popular U.S volunteering opportunity is perhaps our favorite from the list, simply due to its many travel opportunities within the states. The Appalachian Club allows children, students, and adults alike to become a part of something bigger, literally, in the East Coast mountain ranges and encourages them to ‘get out, get dirty, and give back’. This program allows 1-day to 1-month volunteer sessions within several different spots, with jobs ranging from alpine steward to web development specialist.

    Jobs - Trail Maintenance, Trip Leader, Naturalist, Web Development, Treasurer, Event Coordinator, Adopt a Trail, Financial Donator, Alpine Steward
    Location - East Coast U.S Appalachians - Georgia, White Mountains, Connecticut, North Carolina
    Give Now Here: Donate
  • Habitat for Humanity
    Perhaps tied with the next member of the list as being the most influential U.S volunteer agencies, we have the Habitat for Humanity. This organization specializes in local disaster cleanup and help, it’s the biggest effort still taking place more than 11 years after the 3rd strongest hurricane to hit the states, Hurricane Katrina. You can take a special spring break or weekend trip to New Orleans and still help today, with popular construction and gardening jobs needed always!

    Jobs - Disaster Cleanup, Construction Crew, Habitat Urban Gardens, Attack the Block, Mission Christian Habitat, Food/Financial Donation
    Location - Anywhere where help is needed within the U.S - Hotspot New Orleans

    Give Now Here: Donate Goods
  • Red Cross
    The American Red Cross is another major volunteer and relief effort in the U.S, a local disaster relief foundation that drives over 90% of its overall work from volunteers (that’s over 500,000 volunteers per year!). Even better, one-quarter of those volunteers are consistently under the age of 24, the perfect opportunity for students wanting to give back! The Red Cross goes where it is needed, inside and outside of the U.S boundaries, and offers areas of help in cleanups, education, and blood donation.

    Jobs - Disaster Cleanup, Education, Financial/Food Donation, Blood Donation
    Location - Anywhere where help is needed within the U.S, from Natural Disaster Area to your local blood bank!

    Give Now Here: Donate 
  • Heifer International
    Heifer International is one of the most phenomenal worldwide volunteer organizations to date in our opinion, a humbly started midwest organization that has grown into something that has helped over 7 million families from over 125 countries. This program, with 70 years of experience beginning with Dan West, thrives off of the ‘teach a man to fish’ concept, giving families in need the agricultural resources they need to continue to eat throughout their life, not just for a day. You can tour, learn, and donate at Heifer Village, or from the comfort of your own home virtually!

    Jobs - Village Volunteer - Desk, Educator, Livestock help, International Donations
    Location - Little Rock, Arkansas

    Give Now Here: Gift a Heifer
  • White Earth Reservation
    There are actually MANY local Native American tribes that are still thriving today, but that also needs help to manage and maintain their way of life. One of our favorites at AST is the White Earth Reservation program in north-central Minnesota. This reserve and organization were created after an 1867 treaty between the U.S and the Mississippi River Chippewa tribe, the Anishinaabe land area acquired as protected. Today volunteers can not only come here and learn a new way of living, but they can help the tribe maintain the culture they thrive in, both physically and mentally!

    Jobs - Refurbish Local Buildings, Harvest Crops, Educate, Spread Knowledge, Rice Harvesting
    Location - North Central Minnesota

    Give Now Here: Donate
  • Best Friend Animal Sanctuary
    Another one of our absolute favorite giving opportunities comes in next with the iconic no-kill animal shelter in Kanab, Utah. This is the largest of its kind in the U.S and has had 30 years of experience backing it up so far. You can visit the shelter and help walk, clean, groom, or play with any of the animals inside, from dogs and cats to horses and lizards! There are several cities and several jobs involved, not to mention the chance to adopt one yourself once you are here! The staff will even match you up with an animal with a similar personality when you visit and volunteer.

    Jobs - Walk Animals, Groom, Feed, Clean Stalls, Adoption, Financial Donation
    Location - Kanab, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, New York City

    Give Now Here: Donate

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