Big Milestone As Cross-Cultural Solutions Helps 25,000 Volunteers Get Involved Abroad

This month, Cross-Cultural Solutions officially reached 25,000 volunteers who have given their service and become involved in global issues first-hand. The New Rochelle, NY-based nonprofit — which sometimes bills itself as the “Alternative Peace Corps” — is a long-time member of the VolunteerMatch community, and we’re happy to celebrate this milestone with them.

Judging Travel Volunteering by Its Impact

Founded in 1995 in India by Steve Rosenthal (no relation), CCS volunteers work side-by-side with local people in 12 countries around the world. Through relationships with NGOs and local communities, the organization helps volunteers get involved in orphanages and childcare centers, schools, health clinics and hospitals, homes for the elderly, centers for people with disabilities, and other community organizations.

While reaching 25,000 volunteers is an important milestone in a movement, the impact of this international service is the real story: Since 1995, CCS volunteers have logged 1.95 million hours of service to local communities, including over 1.5 million meals served to the elderly, people with disabilities, and children.

While many service purport to bring volunteers to distance lands, CCS has stood out from the start for this focus on social change. As recently reported, “Traveling to another continent with Cross-Cultural Solutions takes the ‘tourist’ out of voluntourism. In fact, we think that CCS should coin a new term for its international volunteer travel business: impactism.”

Stories of Change

As a part of this landmark celebration, volunteer stories of personal transformation, inspiration, and overcoming adversity have been published on CCS’ website. And as another way to showcase the work of 25,000 volunteers, CCS is encouraging their alumni to share their perspective on volunteering abroad through photography. The organization has also launched the CCS 2010 Photo Contest: A Snapshot of the Volunteer Experience. Alumni can submit photos through August 30, and the grand prize winner will receive a one-week volunteer program in Latin America.

(Photo: Cross-Cultural Solutions)