Many groups provide opportunities for Americans, young and old, to help their communities, their country, and people in distant lands. Some outfits require specific expertise; others are just looking for committed people to assist a good cause. Following are five organizations that put helping hands to work.
Number of participants 85,000
Location All 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Length of Commitment 10 months to one year
Mission Often called the domestic Peace Corps, various programs build civic engagement in needy American communities.
Requirements Some assignments require a bachelor’s degree and specific skills; others ask only for motivation and commitment.
Number of Participants 1,750
Location 17 states; Washington, D.C.; South Africa and the U.K.
Length of Commitment 10 months
Mission Under the AmeriCorps umbrella, City Year participants tutor and mentor in schools with low graduation rates.
Requirements Volunteers must be U.S. citizens or residents between 17 and 24.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Number of Participants More than 1 million full- and part-time volunteers
Location 80 countries
Length of Commitment Varies by region
Mission Building houses to alleviate global homelessness and poverty.
Requirements With short-term missions and long-term opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, anyone can participate.
Number of Participants 8,655
Location 77 countries
Length of Commitment 27 months
Mission Promoting cultural understanding between America and the world, as well as applying advanced skills in developing countries.
Requirements Anyone can apply, but many opportunities require advanced education and a defined skill set.
TEACH FOR AMERICA
Number of Participants 8,200
Location 32 states
Length of Commitment 2 years
Mission Placing new teachers in low-income communities in the pursuit of educational equality.
Requirements Bachelor’s degree, U.S. citizenship or residency, and at least a 2.5 college grade-point average.