cool Places You Can Volunteer That Let You Do Something You'd Normally Pay For  

Cheryl Adams Richkoff
108 votes 56 voters 2.8k views 11 items Embed

List Rules Vote up your dream volunteer opportunities.

Whether it's singing in the church choir, donating to a food drive, or washing cars to help a worthy cause, there are many great ways to volunteer. But doing good doesn't have to be boring. If you want to make a difference in your community or the world, there are so many cool volunteer opportunities you should know about. In fact, you'd probably pay to do some of these fun charitable activities.

Some charities invite you to snuggle with kittens, feed wild horses, or spend time with babies. Others invite you to inspire people by teaching a class on a topic you're passionate about. And then there are destination volunteer gigs - who wouldn't want to hop on a cruise ship to do some good, or garden in Spain?

Finding great ways to volunteer isn't rocket science. A quick Internet search will turn up tons of charitable organizations and places you can volunteer for fun. You'll be helping others, but you'll be helping yourself as well.

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Explore The Rainforest


Explore The Rainforest is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Places You Can Volunteer That Let You Do Something You'd Normally Pay For
Photo: US Department of Foreign Affairs And Trade/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Want to make a difference for everyone in the world? Do you support sustainability, and love getting lost in nature? Volunteering in a rainforest may be exactly what you need.

There are tons of opportunities to work in the rainforest. You can study endangered species. You can help rebuild indigenous people's communities. You can learn about plants that may offer cures for deadly diseases. Your choices are as myriad and amazing as the forests themselves.

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Cuddle Kittens At An Animal Shelter


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Video: YouTube

Animal lovers, here is your dream volunteer opportunity! Animal shelters often need volunteers to cuddle kittens and cats. Shelter animals already have a tough go of it, but languishing behind those concrete walls with no one to love them is enough to break their spirits. Some of these critters are dealing with painful medical conditions, some are on medicines that make them feel poorly, and some have been through surgery or abused by their previous owner. Loving, caring humans are the best medicine for these little ones.

Your job is to keep them company, snuggle with them, and play with them. Who could ask for anything more?

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Volunteer Aboard A Cruising Hospital Ship


Volunteer Aboard A Cruising Ho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Places You Can Volunteer That Let You Do Something You'd Normally Pay For
Photo: Mercy Ships/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Cruises aboard luxurious ships are great, but also expensive. For those who would like an ocean experience with some good vibes on the side, volunteering aboard a cruising hospital ship might be just what they're looking for.

This type of volunteer work is best suited for those with a medical background, but there are also jobs aboard that do not involve medical care. The ships operate much like small cities, with everyone on board working together. In addition to helping people from developing countries, you will also have chances to go on land-based excursions and relax doing onboard activities.

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Go Diving With Sharks


Go Diving With Sharks is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Places You Can Volunteer That Let You Do Something You'd Normally Pay For
Photo:  FrontierOfficial/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Organizations like Marine Volunteers provide opportunities for people looking to give back while satisfying their sense of adventure. Volunteers go to South Africa, where they spend time assisting tourists and learning about shark behavior and biology. They also get plenty of face time with the often misunderstood creatures, including stints in a shark cage.