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True Travellers Society was set up as a reaction to organisations trying to jump on the voluntourism bandwagon and make a fat profit. It lists dozens of volunteer programme links for projects all over the world, such as one calling for eight interns in Costa Rica with experience in graphic design, marketing, environmentalism sea turtles , and international and community development who can commit for at least three months at the Casa Milagro Foundation. They are looking for motivated individuals there is real work to be done and provide some benefits.

Independent Volunteer was set up in to provide "do it yourself volunteer opportunities", listing programmes that you don't "have to pay a large sum of money to" to join. The site is an aggregator that lists hundreds of volunteering opportunities around the world — the kind it's hard to find on Google — to whom you apply and liaise with directly.

Working on similar lines to Independent Volunteer, Volunteer South America is also designed to put backpackers and independent travellers in touch directly with grassroots organisations and projects in Latin and South America. Like other independent sites, there is an element of risk and luck involved in where volunteers end up there are no photos showing the place you're going, and no hand-holding once you get there but the site has a useful "scams and warnings" section that advises you check out, verify or even visit if you're in that part of the world already the programmes before you start.

Wwoof holds lists of organic farms and smallholdings all over the world that offer food and board in exchange for work on their land. You don't pay for placements but are expected to work between 25 and 30 hours a week, and usually live with the family. The scheme is very popular with people interested in the organic movement and alternative ways of living. Many European countries have their own associations but Wwoof Independents lists hosts in countries that don't have a national organisation.

Hope for the Holidays

South Africa has some interesting posts on this site, including one in the Eastern Cape for a farm striving to be completely organic and self-sustainable and grow "just about everything possible", including their own coffee. Another farm, in KwaZulu-Natal, claims to be ideal for "excellent hikes, walks and horse riding trails … through forest, plantations and grasslands".

If you don't want to fly half-way round the world to volunteer, there are plenty of opportunities closer to home. The National Trust has numerous working opportunities, from gardening to storytelling in a historic property, and from single days to working holidays. The Brecon Beacons national park breconbeacons. These popular working holidays are conservation-based and involve landscaping, maintenance or path-building plus some monitoring of wildlife.

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The next round of applications will open in mid-December — the island holidays are particularly popular and fill up fast. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.

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Donate a gift certificate to your business, a gift basket, or more. Donations will be on display during the event, and proceeds raised through the Home for the Holidays Silent Auction and Opportunity Drawing help fund programs such as Third Chance for Pets and Enhanced Care. Single-day volunteers ages 15 and older are needed in conjunction with the Home for the Holidays Pet Adoption Fair.

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Shifts are available the day before and day of the event. Visit yourirvine. Saturday Set-Up Volunteers will assist with setting up tents, tables, chairs, fencing, signs, and other items throughout the center. Volunteers need to be able to pull, lift, and carry up to 30 pounds.

Volunteer Opportunities: Spread Holiday Cheer by Giving - NBC4 Washington

Sunday Event Load In Volunteers will work in small groups to assist vendors and rescues in moving items to and from booths, as well as setting up various items throughout the event. This is a fast-paced, standing position. Volunteers must be able to push, pull, lift, and carry up to 30 pounds and be comfortable transporting animals in crates or carriers. Sunday Event Support Volunteers may assist in directing pedestrian traffic; promoting the silent auction, opportunity drawing, or visitor surveys; and helping direct visitors with dogs away from the cat area.

This is a standing and walking position.

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Volunteers must be able to push, pull, lift, and carry up to 30 pounds. Sunday Event Load Out Volunteers work in small groups to break down the event. Volunteers assist with putting away tents, tables, chairs, banners, fencing, signs, and other items throughout the center. For questions regarding volunteering, and for event groups of 8 people or more, contact Casey Pickett at or cpickett cityofirvine. For more information on how to take part in Home for the Holidays, see the information below.

Vendor Reservation Form. Rescue Reservation Form. Shelter Reservation Form.