This series of posts documents two ordinary folks attempting to get out there and do good. Over the next few months, we’ll follow them through the setbacks and triumphs of their endeavor to take the inspiration of Mountainfilm and turn it into something tangible. (To catch up. start here.)

Harking back to one of our first posts, you’ll remember that Jenny and I had a hard time finding a volunteer opportunity that fit our time frame, budget, and other requirements. Lucky for you, we’re here to lend some guidance so you’re not quite as in-the-dark as we were when we started. Whether you want to dedicate your entire being to a cause, work a few hours a day for a few weeks or months, or help a bit here and there where you can, we have a suggestion for you. We’ve listed resources where you can find opportunities that don’t require a placement fee, as we’re assuming that, like Jenny and me, you’re on a budget.

Couchsurfing.org: Throw a dartboard at a map and find a couch! Couchsurfing.org isn’t just for walkabouts; in connecting you with people worldwide, the website can help you find opportunities to volunteer your time while staying for free.

Idealist.org: A giant database with job listings, internships, and volunteer opportunities worldwide. Choose your destination and find a way to help! (Tends to be geared toward long-term volunteers.)

WWOOF.org: (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) Green thumbs your thing? Go work on an organic farm. Guaranteed to have you smelling like poo in no time.

Workaway.info: Workaway’s philosophy is “A few hours honest work per day in exchange for food and accommodation with friendly hosts in varying situations and surroundings.” It’s a great option for those of us on a budget who can’t afford lengthy accommodation expenses.

If you’re not able to volunteer, but still want to contribute to a cause, Kiva is a great way to get involved without a substantial commitment of time or money. Kiva is a microfinance organization through which you invest in entrepreneurs worldwide by partially funding projects that interest you and/or tug at your heartstrings. The entrepreneurs repay your investment over time, but you can opt to re-loan your funds over and over again. Jenny made a $25 contribution last year and has already invested the repaid funds into several other projects. (Kiva also has a rad fellowship program, which would be an amazing way to travel and volunteer, but you have to be selected for it, and we hear competition is fierce.)

So there you are. If you want to get involved, you have no excuse not to. We can’t wait to hear all of your stories as well. We’ll see you next week with a gallery of our adventure in Africa.

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