Volunteer vacations for families in the U.S.

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Top 10 family volunteer vacays

 If you're looking to strengthen your family bonds and teach your kids the importance of helping others, consider taking a family volunteer vacation. Most people assume they need to hop on a plane and cross the ocean to help those in need, but there are actually a number of volunteer destinations right here in the U.S.  When choosing a volunteer vacation, be sure to take into consideration the age, skills and personalities of your family members. Following are 10 exciting volunteer trips:

Family at volunteer organic farm

1Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms

If healthy living is a priority for your family, check out Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). This organization connects volunteers with organic farms across the country. You will receive bed and board in exchange for one half day of work. WOOF-ing is a great way to let you and your kids experience life on the farm.

2Earthwatch Institute

Take your budding scientists on a volunteer vacation with the Earthwatch Institute. Here, you'll learn firsthand about climate change (Tucson, AZ and New Orleans, LA), Diamondback Terrapins (Philadelphia, PA), or Geology and the Shaping of the American Southwest (Durango, CO).

3Catalina Island Conservancy

If you're up for an adventure, join the Catalina Island Conservancy on a rugged volunteer vacation. Here, you'll help preserve rare native plants and animals on Santa Catalina Island, located twenty-two miles off the coast of Southern California. You'll stay at a private camp with beautiful views of the coastline by day and the starry skies by night.

4Rebuilding the Big Easy

It's been five years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, but the rebuilding continues. Hands Up Holidays offers a chance to meet Katrina survivors, learn about the fascinating history of the area, and help with New Orleans' recovery, through volunteer work such as rebuilding houses, sorting clothing donations, teaching skills to the unemployed, or entertaining the elderly in assisted living homes. After a day of volunteer work, be sure to enjoy the tastes and sounds the French Quarter has to offer.

5Sierra Club family trips

Sierra Club Service Trips offer a balance of hard work and free time to enjoy the natural surroundings. Choose from an extensive trip list, including wetlands restoration in Louisiana, whale-watching in Hawaii, and fishing in Hell's Canyon National Recreation Area, Idaho. View the full schedule to find the location and project that best suits your family.

Up next: 5 More volunteer family vacations in the U.S. >>

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