GIVE AND RECEIVE
Other charities are proving that volunteering is a two-way street. Habitat for Humanity, where volunteers donate skill and time in construction of homes for low-income families, is one of the nation's most well-known participatory charities, and others have developed equally unique ways of accomplishing their goals. The Endangered Species Media Project, a member of Earth Share of Texas, conducts ongoing expeditions that bring at-risk youth aboard university research boats to explore the habitat of dolphins and other sea life in the Texas Gulf Coast ecosystem. Students receive classroom training, and then participate in the expeditions on university research vessels. Donors are invited to accompany students as they observe and assist scientists at work, and take part in data collection and problem solving.
The Peregrine Fund saves eagles, condors, falcons, and other endangered birds through research, breeding, and conservation programs. The Fund also helps to preserve rainforests, and educates children and adults about nature and science. All volunteers receive training, regardless of their background with birds. "You don't have to be a bird expert to become a volunteer," says MaryAnn Edson, volunteer director for the World Center for Birds of Prey. "We are looking for people with enthusiasm and desire to provide factual information to the public about a great conservation organization."
The World Vision 30 Hour Famine is an international hunger-fighting program developed to educate and motivate young people and their communities. Sponsored participants go without food for 30 hours, consuming only water and fruit juices, while providing hands-on assistance in their own communities by coordinating food drives, serving in soup kitchens, or assisting in homeless shelters. In 2001, more than 600,000 U.S. participants raised over $9 million.