Humanitarian work isn’t just something that occurs on a large scale. While the term “humanitarian aid” usually conjures up images of multi-million dollar aid packages from one country’s government to another, or perhaps an all star concert to solicit donations for drought or famine relief, in truth it can be more than that.

Humanitarian work can also be much smal ler in scope. Humanitarian work can be done by individuals through small local organizations, and it doesn’t need to be focused on helping people in need who are halfway across the globe. Humanitarian work can also benefit people that need help within your own communities.

Different Types of Humanitarian Work. There are a number of different humanitarian work projects available for those who wish to help people in need:

  • If you live in a city or town of any size, chances are good that there is a homeless shelter nearby. These shelters are always in need of volunteer assistance. The need for help occurs year round, not just around Thanksgiving or Christmas for help serving meals.
  • There’s also a good chance that your local town or city has a food bank or food pantry that helps families who don’t have enough to eat. These agencies are always looking for donations of food, and they’re also often in need of volunteers to help allocate and distribute those food donations to needy families.
  • Your local Red Cross agency is always in need of assistance. Again, financial donations and donations of goods are always welcome. But many times the most pressing need is for donations of time. Even when there are no major disasters for which the Red Cross is providing immediate humanitarian aid, assistance is always needed for processing donations and getting ready for the next time the agency is needed.

How You Can Help. The best way to help is simply to give as you can. For some, this might be limited to financial assistance. Cash donations will always be appreciated by virtually any agency that does humanitarian work. But if you are able to do so, the best way to do humanitarian work is to find a local agency whose mission you believe in and start volunteering your time.

In fact, there are a number of different ways to volunteer your time to provide humanitarian assistance. One way that’s becoming increasingly popular is to commit to spending time abroad with a humanitarian aid agency. The types of projects that are often available for this type of volunteer work vary widely.

When it comes to extended volunteer opportunities abroad, this type of humanitarian work has proven to be popular with retirees. Humanitarian work – particularly humanitarian work abroad – provides rewards and challenges on many different levels, and many retirees are looking for ongoing projects that can help them “give back” to the world. Some forward-thinking families have also used their vacations as a time to take the whole family abroad for volunteer work. Taking these types of vacations can help bring the family closer together. The key is to start doing whatever type of humanitarian work makes sense for you.

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