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August is often the most dreaded month of the year for children as it reminds them that summer is coming to an end. To make those last few weeks really count, it might be a good idea to take the family on one last hurrah, but instead of taking them up to a cabin by the lake or on a Disneyland adventure, consider doing some volunteer work. Unlike your regular vacations, these philanthropic trips are much easier to plan, as many specialized tour operators such as Projects Abroad tend to organize details such as flights, accommodation and the itinerary itself. Plus, it makes your vacation a little more meaningful and one the whole family will remember.
Volunteering has always been recognised as a great way to give back while strengthening family bonds, but throughout the school year some families struggle to fit in charitable activities because of their busy schedules. With child sponsorship programs and other nonprofits expanding their scope of operations by providing opportunities for volunteers rather than just accepting donations, this kind of vacation can really open up you and your kids’ minds to a whole new world.
Although there are plenty of options out there that your family will enjoy, one destination that you should consider is the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Angel Canyon, located north of Kanab in Utah. Run by the Best Friends Animal Society, this place is an animal refuge for almost 2,000 homeless animals, from sheep to dogs and cats. The sanctuary allows animals to heal from illness, neglect and abuse, and with the help of volunteers from around the world, the animals thrive and eventually find loving homes through adoption programs. Best Friends Animal Society welcomes volunteers to stay at their many on-site cottages and cabins. They also have RV sites for families on road trips.
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Daily activities at the sanctuary include tours and looking after the many animals, so depending on the preference of your kids, you will have an option to work with specific types of animals, doing things like preparing meals, grooming and socializing. Despite all the hard work the kids will have to put in to taking care of these sick animals, the family will benefit from these beautiful memories in the long term, and hopefully you’ll want to continue doing volunteer work in the future.
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