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Voluntourism Spotlight: Crystal Cruises and Romero House

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Volunteering and cruising aren’t two activities that normally go together, but this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight shows how you can donate your time on a shore excursion. As a bonus, these opportunities are totally free. Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

Crystal Cruises launched its You Care, We Care program in January, 2011 and has been expanding its voluntourism programs ever since. By partnering with local communities on the ground, Crystal’s program allows passenger to spend at least one shore excursion helping others. The cruise line handles all the logistics, including transportation, and offers these excursions for free.

While Peter is broadcasting his radio show from Saint John, New Brunswick this week, we checked into the participating Romero House Soup Kitchen. Volunteers provide kitchen assistance to help feed less fortunate locals and refugees in the Saint John area. The organization has been operating for more than 30 years, providing more than 1.6 million meals and providing mobile street food service, clothing and other goods.

Other You Care, We Care experiences include:

  • Removing invasive plant species on Makapu’u Beach on the island of Oahu
  • Working in a social services center in Odessa, Ukraine
  • Helping a Nova Scotia food bank in preparation and distribution
  • Feeding, cleaning and walking rescued animals at the Donkey Sanctuary at the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society
  • Collecting produce in Southern Californian orchards to help feed the hungry