Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 28, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 28, 2018 



Dear Savvy Senior,

My husband and I are approaching retirement and are 
interested in learning more about volunteer vacations. 
Can you give us some information on this travel option, 
and refer us to some good organizations that offer these 
types of trips.

Love to Travel

Dear Love,

If you’re looking to do more on your next vacation than 
relax in the sun or go sightseeing, volunteer vacations 
– also known as voluntourism – which combine 
travel and volunteer work, are a great alternative and 
a growing trend among retirees. 

Volunteer Vacations

There are many organizations today that offer short-
term volunteer vacation projects in the U.S. and 
abroad, lasting anywhere from a few days to a few 

 Common program themes include teaching 
English, working with children and teens, building 
and repairing homes and schools, and assisting with 
community or environmental projects. 

 In addition, volunteer vacations also give travelers 
the opportunity to experience the culture more fully 
and connect with the local people – much different 
than your run-of-the-mill sightseeing vacation. 

 Most volunteer vacation groups accept singles, 
couples and families and you don’t need to speak a 
foreign language. Costs usually range from around 
$1,000 to $3,000 per week, not including transportation 
to the country your site is in. Fees typically cover pre-
trip orientation information, room and board, on-site 
training, ground transportation once you get there, 
the services of a project leader, and a contribution to 
the local community that covers material and services 
related to the project. And, if the organization running 
your trip is a nonprofit, the cost of your trip, including 
airfare, is probably tax-deductible. 

Where to Look

 While there are many organizations that offer 
volunteer vacations, here are some good ones that 
attract a lot of retirees.

 Global Volunteers ( A 
pioneer in global travel, this group tackles hunger, 
poverty and educational needs. It offers a variety 
of one, two and three-week service programs in 17 
countries, including the U.S. 

 Earthwatch Institute ( With an 
emphasis in environmental conservation and research, 
they offer dozens of one and two-week expeditions in 
countries all over the world. 

Cross-Cultural Solutions

( Based in New Rochelle, 
NY, they focus on health, education, and economic 
volunteer opportunities in Central and South 
America, Europe, Asia and Africa. 

 Biosphere Expeditions (Biosphere-expeditions.
org): Offers wildlife conservation expeditions in 13 

 Habitat for Humanity ( Offers 
international house-building trips through its Global 
Village Program in more than 40 countries.

 Sierra Club ( This venerable 
environmental group sponsors dozens of service 
trips in the U.S. each year, with more projects offered 
through local chapters. 

How to Choose

 With so many different volunteer vacations to 
choose from, selecting one can be difficult. To help you 
decide, you need to think specifically about what you 
want. For example: Where you want to go and for how 
long? What types of work are you interested in doing? 
What kind of living situation and accommodations do 
you want? Do you want to volunteer alone or with a 
group? Do you want a rural or urban placement? Also 
consider your age and health. Are you up to the task, 
or do you have any special needs that will need to be 

 Once you figure out what you want and spot a 
few volunteer vacations that interest you, ask the 
organization to send you information that describes 
the accommodations, the fees and what they cover 
including their refund policy, the work schedule and 
work details, and anything else you have questions 
about. Also, get a list of previous volunteers and call 

 Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 
5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit 
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and 
author of “The Savvy Senior” book.


Howard Rubin, Anita Hardy, Hattie Harris, Mary Harley, Bette White, Dorothy 
White, Doris Behrens, Freda Bernard, Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, Marilyn 
Diaz, Virginia Elliott, Elma Flores, Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, Betty 
Mackie, Elizabeth Rassmusen, Maria Reyes, Marian DeMars, Anne Schryver, 
Chrisine Bachwansky, Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, Hank Landsberg, Ken Anhalt, Shannon 
Vandevelde * To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required

ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. to 
11a.m. Join the class with Instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the 
art of Hula. 

Bingo Time: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. Activity may be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesdays of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Join us on Thursday, April 19th at 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m for Scattergories, a creative 
thinking game by naming objects within a set of categories; or Jenga, a block-building challenge that 
keeps you stacking and balancing your tower. Everyone is welcome, and no experience is needed. What 
a great way to strengthen your brain and make new friends. Games facilitated by Senior Volunteers. 

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, April 18th from 10:30am to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is 
available for legal consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. Please 
call Hart Park House for an appointment, 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Chair Yoga: Mondays & Wednesdays from 11:00a.m. to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. Classes include 
Yoga and balance exercises. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed!

* A voluntary donation of $5.00 per week is suggested but not required.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday monthly at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club! 

Free Strength Training Class: Fridays from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This 
energetic class utilizes light weights, low impact resistance training and body conditioning. Class 
equipment is provided. 

Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 7th through April 11th from 1:00p.m. 
to 2:00p.m ...Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation... 
**Appointments are required by calling the Hart Park House Office 626-355-7394**

 ** Call Community Services Department for details about the “Ear to Ear Program” returning in 
2018** 626 - 355 - 5278

Daily Health Reminders, Meal Planning & PreparationAmbulation, Dressing & Bathing Assistance626.584.8130Alzheimer's, Stroke Recovery & Hospice SupportAll caregivers are highly screened, trained andinsured to meet your quality standards. filled business servingthe San Gabriel ValleyBlessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy - Matthew 5:7Safety Supervision & Transportation
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