PMC is a top Volunteer Vacation Destination

The New York Daily News named the Pan-Mass Challenge as a U.S.  “Vacation for a Cause” destination.

Full story here. 

Here’s an excerpt:  


Vacation for a cause: Go on a volunteer trip without leaving the U.S.

BY Tripp Whetsell

Sunday, June 7th 2009

Bikers cruise along New England byways in the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, raising money for cancer research.
Vacation for a Cause. Go on a Volunteer Trip without Leaving the US

Before our own economy tanked, slinging sheetrock in some remote country for UNICEF might have seemed like the ideal vacation alternative for adventuresome travelers, those looking for a more fulfilling getaway than just lying on the beach with a copy of the latest Michael Connelly thriller.

Well, it still is.

You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or trek halfway across the globe to get the same satisfaction, either, says travel expert Sheryl Kayne. Her new book, “Volunteer Vacations Across America,” lists more than 200 inexpensive opportunities, from restoring native plants on Catalina Island in California to working with pot-bellied pigs in Arizona.

“The biggest misconception about volunteer vacations is that they have to be very pricey, which isn’t always the case,” Kayne says.

“Particularly here in the U.S., there are trips that have little or no fees, plus portions of them can be tax deductible and you don’t need a sponsor.”

Not only does donating your time for a worthy cause reap huge personal rewards, you’ll also be helping to change other people’s lives. With the Northeast offering plenty of family-friendly volunteer destinations to choose from, all that’s needed to get on your way this summer is a tank of gas, some old jeans and a big heart.

Here are five nearby organizations where you can make a difference right now without draining your bank account:

Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, Needham, Mass.

This bike-athon held every August travels through 46 towns across Massachusetts, with more than 5,000 riders and 2,000 volunteers ages 15 to 83. Since it began in 1980, it has raised more than $24o million to fund cancer research and treatment for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.

There are seven routes for cyclists varying in time commitment and ability. Volunteer responsibilities include mapping routes, constructing food and water stops, providing medical attention and event safety. (781-449-5300;


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