The Good Life

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The more I talk to people the more that I am convinced that one way to maintain a sense of happiness and self satisfaction is in reaching out to help another human being. I have never talked met anyone who has shared any sense of regret when they took the time to lend a hand. Global Volunteers offers people the opportunity to have fun while making a real difference in communities that are in need, while also offering an opportunity to discover something new about themselves.

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Global Volunteers is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian, non-governmental organization engaging short-term volunteers on micro-economic and human development programs in close partnership with local people worldwide. Working at the invitation and under the direction of local leaders, volunteers help create a foundation for world peace through mutual international understanding. Our purpose is to maintain a genuine, sustained service partnership with the host community and provide volunteers a genuine opportunity to serve.

A Global Partnership
By Michele Gran, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder

Occasionally in life, you get to do something amazing. What's more, you might change your life forever.

In January 1980, we enjoyed what my husband, Bud Philbrook, wryly refers to as "a properly balanced honeymoon." We spent five days indulging Bud's childhood dream to visit Orlando theme parks, followed by five days in an impoverished Guatemalan village. This curious blending of Disney World and "the real world" eventually led to a life change that involves thousands of others around the world.

Originally, our honeymoon plans centered around a "barefoot cruise" in the Caribbean. But it was late in 1979, the period of a massive exodus of Hmong and Cambodian people into the vast waters toward America. Week after week, evening network newscasts spotlighted the growing tragedy - the casualties of capsized refugee boats lost in the frigid waters. A cruise seemed increasingly frivolous to us in the context of world events. We decided to try to create a more meaningful vacation for ourselves, where we could experiment with being true "world citizens," if only for a short time. We thought perhaps we could contribute our skills to an international organization that needed help. But where would we find such an outlet?

Continue with Global Volunteers' founding story...

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