In a recent post in the Huffington Post, Billy Beltz, an executive at “Volunteer Forever,” documents his recent volunteer abroad experience in Greece, and then delves into the hurdles he faced when fundraising for his trip.
Billy Beltz by noting the wide-ranging positive benefits of volunteering abroad, noting:
- International volunteerism effects positive change in communities that need it most
- Returning volunteers always assert that their experience extends far beyond direct assist to their host community
- International volunteerism promotes the exchange of ideas and improved cultural understandings
- International volunteerism creates global citizens and has, at times, lasting personal transformations
All of these lasting, positive benefits have been documented numerous times by returning volunteers, experts and the impacted community. So, why not increase the number of individuals volunteering abroad? The hurdle lays in the cost of volunteer programs – which are often justifiable because of the work done by these non-profits to allow for a safe, informative and valuable experience.
Thus, Bill Beltz and Steven Weddle, sought to make volunteering abroad more economically feasible – so, they created “Volunteer Forever.” This allows students interested in volunteering abroad to “select overseas placements [after reading] authentic reviews and raise money effectively so they could make their trip a reality.” The overall goal of the online platform is allow individuals to tell their story and interest in volunteering abroad, in order to collect donations for their trips.