This summer, many Americans are rethinking typical vacation goals of relaxing and having fun by undertaking something a bit less conventional: doing something good for the world.
Away from school, work, and daily responsibilities, a road trip can be a perfect opportunity for giving back to the community.

Motoring for a Cause
Look for organizations or brands hosting fun fundraising or volunteer events for a good cause. For example, hunger affects families and communities nationwide, but some road trippers are helping in the fight to defy hunger.
Every other year, a rally takes place in July called “MINI Takes the States,” whereby MINI owners explore the backroads, curves, and hidden gems of America. This year’s event started in Atlanta, Georgia and finished in Palm Springs, California. The rally, which occurred July 9-23 this year, supported Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization and its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 local food pantries and meal programs.

A portion of each registration fee was donated to Feeding America and a food collection took place each morning of the rally. Participants were also encouraged to start fundraising pages online and spread the word to friends and family to contribute to the cause. Each dollar raised provides 11 meals to the 48 million people in the U.S. struggling with hunger. To learn more about the rally and Feeding America, visit MiniTakesTheStates.com.

How You Can Give Back
You too can turn your summer road trip into an opportunity to do good.

Whether the great outdoors is your ultimate destination, or you’re passing parks on your route to another adventure, consider taking some time for a park clean up. Hit the trail in a national, state, or local park. Bring along some gloves and plastic bags. As you enjoy your hike, stop and pick up litter, which is not only an eyesore, but also a hazard to wildlife and the ecosystem. You can time your visit with a scheduled volunteer opportunity or just do it yourself.

Walking tours are one way to explore a destination. A perhaps more valuable way is to engage with its residents meaningfully. At your destination, consider volunteering with Feeding America or with a local food pantry.

The mark of a great summer vacation can come in many forms. Consider a different kind of summer road trip this year.

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