Great Family Adventures: Help a West Virginia Community With Global Volunteers

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Public Domain

HIGHLIGHTS: One of the most important things you can teach your kids is that they can be of service to others. To illustrate this lesson, donate a week of your family’s time to assisting West Virginia’s rural Beards Fork community, which contends with poverty. Your working vacation might include repairing homes and schools, tending to community gardens, and helping at-risk students learn academic skills. Children serving with their families are encouraged to use their abilities and interests to help other children. You’ll have enough free time to explore local attractions like museums, craft markets, and hiking trails, and participate in regional social events. This trip is recommended for ages five and older.

OUTFITTER: Global Volunteers (motto: “Leave your mark on the world”) pioneered the voluntourism movement in 1984, and has been offering service vacations for families ever since. The non-profit organization serves some 100 communities around the world.

ITINERARY: Stays in Beards Fork, West Virginia.

DATES: Departures March 23, April 13, May 18, June 8, July 6 and 13, August 10, September 14, and October 12.

PRICE: From $995 per person (fully tax-deductible), including all meals, lodging, ground transportation, project materials, orientation, the services of a team leader, and supplemental health insurance. Many families fund-raise their program fee and travel costs; scholarships are available. For the same price, volunteer opportunities are also available on Montana’s Blackfeet Reservation.

INFO:, (800) 487-1074.

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