(StatePoint) Hitting the road this summer and want to do something good for the world along the way? Consider using your summer road trip as an opportunity to give back to the communities you visit. For some inspiration, check out these great ways Americans are rethinking vacations to include a touch of philanthropy.
Driving for Good
All those miles you log on the road can be for a good cause, if you look in the right places. Check out organizations and brands hosting fun fundraising or volunteer events on the road. For example, “MINI Takes the States,” a biannual rally for MINI Cooper owners, gives participants an opportunity to explore America’s beauty while raising money for Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization dedicated to fighting domestic hunger through a network of food banks. In 2016, rally participants raised enough money to provide 1,301,969 meals to families in need, and this year’s goal is over 2 million meals. Occurring July 14 – 22 this year, MINI Takes the States will see owners kick off in either Orlando, Fla. or Portland, Ore. and converge in Colorado, passing through some of America’s most interesting and beautiful sites and cities.
A portion of each registration fee is donated to Feeding America and participants are encouraged to start fundraising pages online and spread the word to friends and family to contribute to the cause. Each dollar raised will provide at least 10 meals to people in the U.S. struggling with hunger. To learn more, visit MINITakesTheStates.com or follow the conversation at #DriveForMore.
Transform Your Road Trip
America’s parks need your help, particularly their hiking trails. Volunteer opportunities abound for those who wish to combine a road trip with trail stewardship. After traveling to your favorite park, join a volunteer crew to build or maintain a trail, increasing accessibility to America’s most beautiful natural wonders.
Or, be someone who brakes for animals -- animal volunteer opportunities that is. Many animal sanctuaries welcome vacationing volunteers to provide extra hands. From socializing dogs to feeding horses, certain opportunities even include lodging to those giving their time.
By giving back to the places you visit, you can take the concept of the ultimate summer road trip to new heights.