Give Something Back: Volunteer through Idealist.org

So what are you going to do with your life this summer?

Anyone who has traveled in the third world gets a new appreciation for what it means to be born in America. We carry our safe drinking water in our backpacks, while surrounded by those who must drink the local water, safe or not. Our universities’ foreign travel clinics prepare us with shots and malaria pills to start taking before our plane even lands, while the local people who are surrounded by these diseses for all of their lives cannot afford basic health care. Before travel we notice those who have more money, more education, more opportunity than we do. After travel, we understand how lucky we are to be born in a place where we do have so much.

If by accident of birth you have been born in a place where you can have adequate health care, safe water, and unlimited educational opportunities, you might want to consider giving something back to the universe. Give your time to some worthwhile cause. Many local papers list volunteer opportunities. If you don’t know where to find volunteer opportunities in your area, idealist.org has a database of over 10,000 volunteer positions.

Last week I visited the local career fair sponsored by this organization. New this year were representatives from several unions with biligual flyers targeting workers in industrial laundries, hotels, casinos, food service, apparel, and distribution centers.

And here is a new Spanish lesson:

organize for power
organizarse para tener poder

make hotel jobs middle class jobs
lograr que los empleos de hoteles sean de clase media

restore the American Dream
restaurar el sueño americano

lifting one another above the poverty line
levantándonos unos a otros de la pobreza

union
organización sindical

low wage and immigrant workers
trabajadores mal pagados y los inmigrantes

work to make history and change workers’ lives
trababajar para hacer historia y cambiar las vidas de los trabajadores

Working people are standing up to corporate greed.
Los trabajadores se defienden de la codicia empresarial.

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