16 January is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the US and designated as a National Day of Service. It's a day to both honor the legacy of the civil rights icon and to pay it forward with acts of service to one's own community and causes they hold dear.
It's also a service holiday for the entire team here at The Tourism Academy | tourismacademy.org. Here are just a few things we're doing to give back:
CEO & Chief Strategist, Stephen Ekstrom, will be spending his day helping to hatch and release baby turtles at Tortugueros Las Playitas A.C.
Chief Learning Officer, Sheena Works, will be working with The Mark Wandall Foundation, an organization that facilitates support for children dealing with grief.
Eric Lutey, Director of Development, will be lending a hand to help improve his local community in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the DeVos Children's Hospital
Daniel Montes, from our Support Services team, will be volunteering at the Boys & Girls Club in Los Cabos, BCS, Mexico
Thinking of becoming a volunteer, tourism ambassador or need train your tourism volunteers? Here's a list of 10 reasons that will help you make up your mind.
#10: It’s good for you.
Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:
Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system.
RELATED: Create a Training Program For Your Volunteers
#9: It saves resources.
Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements.
#8: Volunteers gain professional experience.
You can test out a career.
#7: It brings people together.
As a volunteer you assist in:
#6: It promotes personal growth and self-esteem.
Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.
#5: Volunteering strengthens your community.
As a volunteer you help:
Support families (daycare and eldercare)
Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)
RELATED: Recruit and Upskill Community Advocates & Tourism Ambassadors
#4: You learn a lot.
Volunteers learn things like these:
Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self worth.
Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.
#3: You get a chance to give back.
People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.
#2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.
Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it.
#1: You make a difference.
Every person counts! (Center for Student Involvement, UC San Diego)
Tips for Getting Started Volunteering
First, ask yourself if there is something specific you want to do.
For example, do I want…
…to make it better around where I live
…to meet people who are different from me
…to try something new
…to do something with my spare time
…to see a different way of life and new places
…to have a go at the type of work I might want to do as a full-time job
…to do more with my interests and hobbies
…to do something I’m good at
The best way to volunteer is to match your personality and interests. Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search.
Want to become more involved with The Tourism Academy | tourismacademy.org? Contact us.