Travel News

Voluntourism Spotlight: Operation USA

Haitian boyAs the holiday season approaches, disaster-relief organizations are more in need than ever, and there are ways you can help—both hands-on and from home. This week’s Voluntourism Spotlight introduces Operation USA and their fundraising and volunteer programs.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

Operation USA, where Peter Greenberg sits on the board, is an international relief agency that works with grassroots partners in hard-hit areas around the world. They provide first-response relief after earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, drought, and other natural disasters. They also work tirelessly to battle ongoing problems such as hunger, disease and endemic poverty.

Volunteer opportunities arranged on a case-by-case basis for donors who want to participate in ongoing projects and see where their funding is going. Organizers will work with you to determine where your skills fit best, i.e. Spanish speakers may spend a week teaching in a Nicaraguan village, or those with medical training may travel to Cambodia to work with health-care partners. Operation USA also has a license to provide humanitarian aid in Cuba. All donations are tax deductible. Operation USA is 100 percent privately funded, with only 4 cents to the dollar going toward overhead

You can also help without stepping on a plane. Donate your United Continental miles to Operation USA to help first responders provide disaster relief on the ground.

For more information, visit or email

By Sarika Chawla for