Altourism: Doing the World and Doing it Good

Repairing sewing machines in the Hermit Islands
(photo credit: Sailing with Totem)

Author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman wrote:
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
For some it comes by choice: trips planned for the express purpose of volunteer work somewhere in the world. For others or at other times it is more a matter of chance, of being in the right place at the right time with the right skill or staple food. But one thing is certain: whenever, whatever we offer, we come away with more. 

The "rules' have been stretched a bit for this topic. Along with blog posts we've sourced a few magazine articles. But all follow the same course, as it were, in pointing out how creative we cruisers are in finding ways to "come alive."

"...community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others from beyond them -- unknown and undiscovered brothers."       --Howard Thurman

Topic Coordinators: Ean and Jane Behr (more JOY everywhere!)

Jamie of Sailing with Totem hangs out his shingle in the Hermit Islands.

Deb of The Voyage of Neytiri "reports" on a beach clean-up in Santa Marta, Colombia that brings the 20+ cruisers who participated a few column-inches of fame.

To school children in Vanuatu and mola makers in the San Blas, John and Amanda Neal of Mahina Exhibitions, deliver some welcome gifts.

Harts at Sea confesses to being shamed into doing good.

Author and SAILINGWRITER blogger Chris Kling and a few of her writer pals raise money for a special needs school in the Bahamas by giving away Kindle books?

PacificSailors Verena and Mike recount the tale of the one that couldn't get away.

Cruising Compass reports on Blue Planet Odyssey, a sailing event committed to doing a whole world of good.

Also from Cruising Compass: Sea Mercy is a non-profit organization organized to bring medical facilities to people who can't get to them.

Sea  Raven's crew, having just signed up for the Sea Mercy Captain program, explain their decision and the application process.  (Those who want to "sail with a greater purpose" should check out the Sea Mercy Captain Program.)

Deborah Bach of Three Sheets Northwest covers a Blake Island Yacht Club members' get together for BBQ with a side of clean up.

From Noonsite: Floating to Flora's: a flotilla to support a very special place for Haitian children.

While their clothes tumble, Life Afloat's Dan N' Jaye stumble upon an unexpected benefit of cruising.

Karen and Jim's Excellent Adventure takes them to New Zealand where they volunteer at a sanctuary on Great Barrier Island that's run afowl.

One more from Cruising Compass: a non-profit organized to provide educational materials to kids in the Eastern Caribbean.

...where, it so happens, the crew of Tenaya and family help out. (Note: the part that deals with altourism starts halfway down.)

Get your daily dose of culture by volunteering at a museum, recommends The Life Nomadik.

Michael of Logs of s/v Del Viento recounts how for years now his daughter's efforts have been going to the dogs.

Conversely, Harts at Sea arranges for the dogs to go with her.

Tasha of Turf to Surf helps raise money for a Montessori school serving Dominican and Haitian kids in Cabarete.

Nicky and his family of Namani at Sea take pride in helping out at a nursery in Motuihe.

A former corporate president, Jim of Tenaya, will work for feathers.

Though nowhere to be found in the latest--or any--edition of the DSM, in this series of posts, Jessica of Project Motorboat unwittingly displays a not-all-that-rare side effect of volunteering: IAS (Incurable Attachment Syndrome)

Casa Guatamala
Hotel Backpackers
Donations Sent to the Casa
Give a Little Bit

Diane, Evan, and Maia of Ceilydh Sets Sail receive a wonderful present at a Christmas Party in La Paz.

Jan of Commuter Cruiser shares lots of ideas about how cruisers can "give back" to the communities they visit.

Searavensailing points out that you don't have to wait until your kids are actually born to get them involved in environmental justice.

Hi, blogger! Do you have a blog post on volunteering that you'd like to share? Please post your link with a brief description in the comment section below and we'll add it to this list.

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  1. Beautifully put together and super inspiring, look at we can do. These and many more are proving it only takes love and effort to improve the world around you.

    "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

  2. We fell in love with this little organization in La Paz http://maiaaboard.blogspot.com.au/2010/12/christmas-in-vista-hermosa-care-for.html

    1. Hey, thanks for the post. It's a lovely story and great example of how far a little love can go. It'd be awesome if you'd do a linkback so that folks could see all the other ways that cruisers do good in the world.

  3. kinda on topic, promoting ocean awareness with an environmentally aware baby-bump!

    1. Thanks for the link. How many kids can say they've been involved in environmental justice actions since before birth?

  4. It is always encouraging to see the hearts of those who love to sail and how they can make the most of every stop and every visit. We love giving sailors the ability to "sail with a greater purpose" and would love to work with more vessel owners in the South Pacific. Visit our Sea Mercy Captain's program at http://www.seamercy.org/node/53 to learn more.

    All the best to everyone and their programs!

    Richard Hackett
    Sea Mercy

    1. Thanks, Richard - we added your link above; it looks like a great program!

  5. Just to add to Rich's words in the previous message, Sea Raven has joined with Sea Mercy to help the Pacific Island nations. First stop Tonga 2014!

    1. Funny, I had just read and added your post when I saw your comment! Let us know when you add more posts about your adventures in purposeful sailing, and we'll keep adding.

  6. Altruism from a clean wake perspective: