Archive for August, 2012

Volunteers Now

Volunteers Now
The need for community volunteerism has never been greater than it is today. The economy has stifled the budgets of many associations of the house and raised the owner of the need for homeowners to be more involved in community care of public spaces in their associations. While volunteering may seem a burden to the owners of the house may actually be an advantage.

These volunteers help the community to demonstrate the ROI they receive from it. And what are they? First, volunteering provides a sense of self. There is personal satisfaction in his mind when he or she did something meaningful without being paid. Second, there is a special bond with others in the community who joined the volunteer effort. Getting to know your neighbors while participating in a project within the community to develop friendship and unite the community in a way that serves the interests of all. Third, it is a blessing to participate in the sense that they are improving the area where you live. We all know that the particular mood that occurs when you plant trees or flowers in our own backyard, or when we launched feeders or bird baths for our special feathered friends. This unique experience is exacerbated when the projects are carried out in areas of public people who live there.

We all find ways to cut costs in this tight economy. When we volunteer to help our community, we can keep any increase in premiums that may result from the presence of HOA officers’ employees or contract with someone to do the job. The result is an economy for everyone in society, including your own family budget whenever we finish a task that voluntarily reduces our need to pay others to do so. Labor costs can be considerable, but volunteers can reduce or eliminate many of the costs of their unpaid help. Saving money is important and volunteering is a way to do it.

When we offer to help our community learns more about the whole process is necessary to take care of public spaces. This increased knowledge allows us to participate more effectively in all matters that homeowner. We get to know staff better and we realize the difficulty of their work, and to serve on various committees of the association. Volunteers must transmit information to other residents and residents informed are more likely to be positive and supportive in the future. A volunteer may be able to hire two or three additional volunteers for future projects, sharing the joys, the savings and benefits achieved by the process.

Community leaders, particularly those who serve on committees HOA should consider having a volunteer day for the community. This should be widely promoted and organized on Saturday. In this case, those involved could get a list of things that could be done by volunteers. The advantages of such a service should be explained. Those present should be invited to encourage residents to participate in other projects. When neighbors get involved, they tend to meet other neighbors who also participate. Residents should be able to register for special projects at the meeting. When communities have a day or twice a year for people to participate, they limit the number of people who can participate. When these leaders give people the opportunity to volunteer for tasks and their neighbors at a time when they are most accessible, the number of people affected will increase dramatically.

In other words, setting aside one day for landscape projects are not successful. But when you let someone or a group of residents volunteered to do a landscape project at the time of their choice, are you more visibility and better results.

Community leaders and residents should seek to increase volunteerism in the HOA projects. Results will join the company, improving the living environment, save money, increase home values ​​and friendships. Volunteer Now!

Volunteer abroad transportation

Volunteer abroad transportation

It is important to consider means of transportation and commuting when planning your volunteer abroad trip.  There are various means of transport available depending on the country in which you are going.  You could travel by road, rail, ship or plane, depending on the location of your program project and country you are going to. If you are going to stay in a foreign country as a volunteer, back packer, study abroad student, gap year traveler or just a traveler,  for a month or longer you should find out what are the best means to travel while you are there. The most common means of transport is public transport which is sometimes run by the national government, or sometimes could be run by the city and in some case the tourist centres. Choosing the best way to travel depends on your budget and the resources that are available to you. While you are abroad you could travel by:

 

 

Plane

 

Travelling by plane is the most popular especially if you are going to travel over long distances.

Unfortunately it is also the most expensive way to travel. Younger adults (26 years and younger) can use International Student Identity Card (ICIS), International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) and Youth Hostel Association (YHA) to get discounts on flights.  Booking in advance can allow you to take advantage of flight deals and discounts. During the long flight hours try to make yourself comfortable by wearing loose fitting clothes and carry anything that would entertain you during the flight. If you suffer from airsickness, get motion sickness tablets, they will help you during your flight. Follow the airlines’ regulations and rules for everyone’s’ safety.

 

 

Ship

 

Travelling by boat is common in areas that have islands, or in places that don’t have access to bridges. In places like Italy there are many waterways and the preferred way to travel is by boat. For safety, you should check whether the vessel has been registered for voyages; the marine conditions of the area; and travel advisories at the dock. To overcome seasickness you can get medication from a doctor, wear a special wrist band that controls your pulse rate and try to stay on the deck to a catch of the breeze. In some remote villages on islands, you will have to travel by boat. In these places, there will be dhows available and you have to be very careful when travelling by them.

 

 

Train and buses

 

Public transportation is different in every country and is through trains and busses. Trains are sometimes the best means of transport because they are cheaper than planes and more comfortable than busses. When backpacking across Europe travelling by train is the most effective means of transportation. You can save money on trains by using ICIS, IYTC and YTH cards if you are a young adult. Trains are relatively safe, with very few accidents occurring but you should keep your travel documents and personal documents very safe in your hand luggage. In trains you are more prone to be robbed or pick-pocketed especially on the train stations. Traveling by bus is more comfortable especially if you are travelling for shorter periods. Although the new rules and routes could be intimidating, take a local friend with you to help you navigate. You can get a public transportation map, to help you and learn how to stop the bus.

 

 

Car and motor bikes

 

Travelling by car is very comfortable especially for short distances. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from AAR so as to drive any part of the world. You could either buy or rent a car for the period of you volunteer abroad. Traffic rules and regulations vary with the country for example in some countries they drive on the left while in others they drive on right side. When renting or buying a car, insure it and don’t rent something too exotic that will attract attention. For safety, follow the traffic rules, don’t leave valuables in the car, and don’t drive at night.  Motor bikes are great for avoiding traffic jams and parking fees.

 

 

Bicycles and walking

 

This is the most inexpensive mode of transport. It’s the best way of keeping fit and works best if you live close to your school or volunteer project. For safety don’t walk at night and follow the pedestrian traffic rules. Also don’t wear clothes that will attract too much attention; wear expensive jewelry and carry your handbag close to you.

 

 

Volunteer Abroad Advice

Volunteer Abroad Advice
Traveling is a disease that is not easy to cure; some say its caused by being bitten by a travel bug. Travelers could be those who are going to: volunteer abroad; gap year; study abroad; intern abroad; tourist abroad; career break and boomers abroad. Many of the travelers especially those who are going to stay for a long period of time like for months or years fail to plan. Most volunteers who are abroad plan to: pay the air fare, get travel insurance and for accommodation. They forget about planning for small things that make a big difference like: carrying extra money; bathrooms could be different; having your passport all the time; travelling in the host country; manners and minding locals; and realizing you are the different one not them. Other than these there are more important things you should know that will help you enjoy your volunteer abroad vacation

Travel policy

Reading the fine print when you are using a travel agent is important because you would want to know who will take care of you when things go wrong. As a volunteer going to work abroad you are most probably going to use a volunteer travel organization that organizes volunteer work. Most of these organizations plus other travel and tour operators have travel policies or terms and conditions. Knowing these will help you to plan how you will take care of yourself when things go south. Things like political coups, racist movements, natural disasters, being robbed, when you fall sick and riots are not common but they could happen. When these things happen you would want to know how the agency will take care of you. You should also find out about the refund policies, something might happen that could make you not to travel and you dont want to lose your money.

Accommodation

This comes when you are planning where you are going to stay. The most common places to stay are hotels, hostels, and homestays and group homes. Many hotels have minimum set of standards and its easy to find out what you are paying for. Choosing a hostel, homestays and group homes are the ones travelers should pay particular attention to. Most people dont take their time to look into what they are and not paying for. For example in group homes and homestays, they could offer you a bed or a bed mat, a table and electric outlet. In other occasions they could provide you with these things and more or not. Also hostels dont give out much information on what they will offer you, or sometimes they provide you with false information.

Getting around

Getting around is hard for the first weeks in a foreign country, especially if you are going to be using public transport to get around. In some countries when you use buses or trains they are normally overcrowded and crammed and this can come as a surprise to you. While you are abroad get maps and book guides of the country you are in. Reading and understanding maps can become useful especially when you are lost. If you plan to ride a bicycle or a car, try to find out the traffic rules. As a pedestrian look out for signs to help you navigate through the city. In some countries motorists dont pay much attention to pedestrians and extra care should be taken.

Credit Cards

Before you travel abroad contact your bank or Credit Card Company and inform them that you are travelling abroad. Inquire from them what their policies are abroad and what happens when you lose your cards either through robbery or bad luck. Ask them how you will be protected against fraud. Before you volunteer abroad ask if their cards can be used where you are going. Some credit card companies provide you with medical insurance; ask them if you also need additional travel insurance. Before you leave, contact a tax expert or accountant about taxation and find out if you will still be paying tax while you are abroad. This is mainly for volunteers who are planning to stay for a long period of time.