Voluntourism: The Virtuous Vacation

Volunteering while on vacation is not a new concept, but I am starting to see it more often in major media. What is it that is sparking more and more people to give up a portion of or their entire vacation in order to help others or our environment?In today’s age of economical distress and numerous natural disasters, I think it is safe to say that more people are caring these days.

Here at ACE, we have seen a surge of families and non-profit groups wanting to help out while they are on vacation. I don’t know about you, but this gives me a feeling of hope for the future of our planet and our people.

Vacations are precious things, especially in today’s busy world. To give that up so that you can do your part to conserve our earth or help out those in need is truly a noble, selfless act.

Here are a few ways we can help you volunteer while visiting the area:

  • We can set you up with a National Park Service Volunteer Coordinator. He or she will organize plans for you or your group to help clean up trails, streams and rivers in the New or Gauley National Rivers. Our groups have done everything from pick up trash, to marking and cataloging old gravestones in the Park.
  • There are several non-profit agencies in Southern West Virginia that help out those in need. ACE guests have helped build handicap ramps for the elderly, install new roofs and build new homes for those who have never had a home of their own.
  • Our Trail Maintenance Weekends at ACE have become a hit over the years. We give you 2 free nights in a cabin with a private hot tub in exchange for your hard work making and maintaining trail systems here at ACE.
  • While many people come to WV to enjoy the mountains, others are here fighting to save our mountains. Mountain-top removal is a destructive form of coal mining in which entire mountains are blown up in order to extract this natural resource. It is devastating hundreds of mountains and polluting streams all across WV. We can link you up with several agencies that are fighting to end this radical form of mining.
  • Keep in mind that the small things make a difference in this world. Take a trash bag with you while hiking and pick up any trash you see. Tell someone you know about an environmental or social issue — spreading the word is half the battle. You don’t have to donate a lot of money to help someone out. Give what you can and rest assured knowing that your karma level just jumped 10 points, because you did what you could.

So what will you do this year in order to make this a better world for future generations? How can we work together to help our Earth and mankind? Pay it forward. It will come back to you.

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