Many of the world’s toughest challenges—think poverty, environmental degradation, malnutrition—feel so complex that it’s tough to know how to help and where to start. Give A Day Global, a nonprofit that connects travelers with volunteer opportunities, aims to change that. After years of planning and coordinating, Kerry Rodgers, ’98, launched the organization last summer with 25 nonprofit partners in 12 countries, with plans to grow. Volunteer opportunities range from teaching computer skills to children in Mumbai, to tagging sea turtles with conservationists in Costa Rica.
The idea originated in South Africa in 2009: Rodgers, a high school teacher and photographer, was on a two-week vacation with her husband. “We were your standard, typical tourists,” she says—safari, wine country, the works. Then a friend suggested they visit a nonprofit where he used to work. Rodgers says that day opened her eyes: “I remember saying that night to my husband and friend, ‘I am a changed person.’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, sure, whatever.’” But Rodgers began to study international development and volunteer, and eventually her idea solidified into its current form. She hopes the experiences will move people to become volunteers and advocates for life. “That experience of connecting with a nonprofit can be really powerful. It certainly was for me.”