The VolunTourist™ is a premium Newsletter for the Travel Trade. For those interested in dis-covering what is happening in the world of VolunTourism and seeking emerging practices, general information, and case studies, this is your Source.
So You May Know...
Whisper To A Scream!
Spoken : Some things take forever, but with building bricks of trust and love, mountains can be moved
Verse 1: Love come, down upon us ‘til you flow like water, burning, with the hope of insight, feathered, look they’re covered with a bright elation, stolen, in the sight of love
Chorus : We are, we are, but your children, finding our way around indecision, we are, we are, we are ever helpless, take us forever, a whisper to a scream
Ian McNabb, Icicle Works, The Icicle Works, 1984
I do not include the second verse here, as it is a bit philosophical, but whenever I hear this song by Icicle Works, I think of the last five years and those of us who have dedicated life energy to bringing VolunTourism into the public eye. Although “scream” may be melodramatic for the implied metaphor here, the path of VolunTourism is running a similar course.
Whisper… In 2000, my colleague and great friend, Brian Hawkins, and I transmuted a train ride from San Diego to Carlsbad into an epiphany – VolunTours™. We didn’t know what we would do with it, but we sure “loved” the way it rolled off the tongue. What it implied, well, certainly, that was something far greater, and we knew it.
With help from Brian’s brother, Jim Hawkins, and his company, Signature Marketing Group, we secured a number of websites and began populating them with information about VolunTours™.
To… 14 months later I met Barbara Ketcham, a meeting professional and crafter of conventions and gatherings for one of the world’s largest professional associations - America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). The following June (of 2002), we had our first client and a small, mid-city community in San Diego had a “Health Celebration.” 200 AHIP convention attendees came in a day prior to their annual meeting and offered health screenings, dental check-ups, immunizations, and entertainment for 3,000 low-income residents from 25 different ethnic backgrounds.
Tuesdays 10am ET/7am PT
A… In August of that same year, Los Niños’ Executive Director, Elisa Sabatini and I began preparations on a business plan for the first Yale/Goldman Sachs Nonprofit Social Venture Business Plan Competition – Los Niños VolunTours™ In May of 2003 we presented as a finalist. Although we did not earn the big money prizes, we were inspired by our climb to the list of twenty from the original 655.
Scream… The VolunTours™ Concept Paper made its way to the desk of Kristin Lamoureux, the Research Director for the International Institute of Tourism Studies at the George Washington University. She connected us with J Mara DelliPriscoli, President of the Educational Travel Conference. A 2004 VolunTourism Think Tank was born and, subsequently, the 2005 VolunTourism Forum – “How To Create and Market Successful VolunTourism Programs & Events.”
Now we hope to continue to amplify the voice of VolunTourism with the publication of this newsletter – The VolunTourist. It will be a guide for those who appreciate such support anonymously, and for those who are inspired by delving into the fray, it will be a resource along your journey. We intend to supply our readers with the best practices, case studies, commentary, and professional wisdom on VolunTourism.
Critical to the success of this publication will be your input. Your comments, questions, and testimonials – to be featured in the “UnXpected” – as well as suggestions for articles and topic considerations will assist us in delivering a dynamic, quality-filled edition month after month. Collectively we will build a great voice for VolunTourism. And, who knows, perhaps one day we shall hear an excited VolunTourist scream, “VolunTourism has changed my life!”
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