Updated for 2023-2024
Volunteer abroad programs cover an enormous variety of opportunities ranging from environmental conservation to teaching English, from childcare to medical assistance, and everything in between. There are projects that you can choose from all over the world, from South America to Africa and Asia and beyond, all with amazing opportunities to contribute your talents.
For some, leaving the United States to volunteer overseas isn’t practical. But there’s no need to miss out on the experience! There are exciting projects available across this country, making volunteer travel in the United States an excellent option for those who prefer to stay closer to home – and for those from around the world who would like to visit the USA.
Let’s take a look at a few different volunteer opportunities around the United States!
Since 2007, the volunteer travel experts at IVHQ have worked to ensure that volunteer experiences are accessible to everyone who wants to participate. IVHQ has placements in more than 40 countries, and it is an organization focused on responsible, high-quality, safe projects that will help you develop greater global awareness while contributing your skills to your host community.
In the United States, IVHQ’s premier program takes place in the cities of New Orleans, Louisiana and San Diego, California. Depending on your interest and abilities, you can choose from the following opportunities:
- Environmental Sustainability
- Housing and Homeless Support
- Arts and Community Outreach
- Neighborhood Renovation
There are 6 impactful projects you can choose from, and start at $676 for one week. Check out San Diego’s Environmental Sustainability project, where you will help with beach cleans to protect the coastal ecosystems, plant trees to protect the shoreline, and educate the public about environmental sustainability through community outreach.
For a hands-on experience, check out New Orleans’ Construction and Renovation project. This city needs revitalization due to the damages of frequent hurricanes, notably Hurricane Katrina and Ida. You will help with building or repairing homes and shelters to beautify communities for its residents. Construction duties include painting, carpentry, landscaping, etc. For more information, click here.
Outside of the mainland, IVHQ also offers volunteer projects on the island of Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory. To learn more about their Puerto Rico volunteer opportunities, click here.
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Fronteering
The tagline for Fronteering tells you all you need to know about volunteering on one of these projects: More Real. More Raw. This organization is focused on giving you the adventure of a lifetime, offering placements in areas where nature, wildlife, and indigenous cultures abound. Fronteering is a popular option for those who want to explore some of the less-traveled corners of the world.
The United States still has plenty of wild places, and Fronteering can get you there. These are three opportunities for experiencing the very best nature has to offer, while making important contributions to animal care.
Wild West Wildlife – Photos simply don’t do justice to Arizona’s scenery. You can see it in-person and up-close when you choose to volunteer with Wild West Wildlife. You will spend your time learning to care for injured animals, including mammals, reptiles, and birds. When you aren’t hard at work, you can visit some of the most breathtaking places in America. Hike the Grand Canyon, visit First Nations communities, and explore historic towns that date back to the gold rush days.
Florida Island Center – The seas around Florida’s tip are home to an extraordinary wildlife population. Unfortunately, accident and injury can leave these creatures fighting for survival. When you volunteer with the Florida Island Center, you will spend your days working to rehabilitate native animals, with the goal of releasing them back into their habitats. The Center is located between Miami and the Everglades, so there are plenty of ways to enjoy your downtime – visit local beaches or learn to snorkel and scuba dive in between your rescue work.
Horse Rescue Ranch – With a minimum stay of four weeks, you can count on getting in-depth experience with horses through this wonderful program. You will get to know the ranch’s equine residents, who arrived after being abandoned, injured, or neglected, and you will learn all there is to know about caring and rehabilitating these gentle creatures. The Horse Rescue Ranch was founded in 1975, and it has successfully placed more than 2,500 horses in new homes.
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Frontier
Frontier was founded in 1989, and more than 103,000 volunteers have been placed in projects around the world to date. This organization specializes in customized programs that range from a few weeks to an entire year.
If you’re looking to volunteer in America, Frontier offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to care for injured and neglected wildlife, including bears, large cats, bats, wolves, and primates. You may even have the opportunity to participate in releasing bears back to their natural environment once they are strong enough to live independently. All of this happens in the heart of the Sunshine State at the Florida Animal Rescue.
Volunteer Travel in the United States with Global Volunteers
There is a reason that so many people have chosen projects with Global Volunteers. This organization has something for everyone! Whether you are a student, a professional, or a retiree, you can be sure that there is a project for you. While there are programs on six continents – 33 total countries – you don’t have to leave the United States to make a difference. These three volunteer opportunities provide critical services to the community:
- Appalachia – West Virginia’s majestic mountains offer a beautiful backdrop to coal mining country, where employment is low and poverty is high. Bring your skills to these “empowerment zones” and work one-on-one with residents or in a group setting to complete community projects.
- Rosebud Reservation and Blackfeet Reservation – The plains of South Dakota are home to Sicangu Rosebud Sioux people, and you are invited to spend some time with them on their reservation. Alternatively, you can request placement with Blackfeet Nation of Montana. While you learn about Native American culture, you will participate in critical service projects to support the community. Though many tourists have been to these reservations, few get to see it like you will during your volunteer week.
The United States has endless diversity in culture, landscape, and people. Get an in-depth view of American life in lesser-known areas when you choose volunteer travel in the United States.
Ready to Travel in the USA?
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