The Ripple Effect: Terri Wingham’s Incredible Journey, Part 1

Terri Wingham with Two Children

Image source: Terri Wingham

Welcome back to our new interview series, The Ripple Effect. The Ripple Effect explores the emotional impact of volunteer travel and its lasting effect on people’s lives. Today we’re speaking with Terri Wingham, a truly inspirational woman. As a cancer survivor, Terri has been through one of life’s greatest challenges and has come out the other side, vibrantly alive and passionate about to helping others. She has found hope through volunteering.

In her words…

In the last year, I have become a cultivator of hope. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Hope doesn’t make the misery go away or instantly transport you into a mythical utopia where unicorns frolic and vibrant rainbows ignite the sky. But, for me, hope is like holding onto a thick rope while walking through a dark cave. You can’t yet see anything, but you know that if you keep walking and keep holding the rope, you will eventually emerge out of the cold dampness of the cave and into the warmth of the afternoon sun.

Travelocity: Travel for Good

$5000 Grant for Travel for Good Winner

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Travelocity is one of the giants of online travel planning. Kids these days don’t go to travel agents. We don’t need third-party facilitators to book our white water rafting trips or our day hikes through the redwood forests. We do it ourselves, on the Internet. By now, most travel businesses have moved online. Those that haven’t are either catering to a very specific demographic of wealthy, typically older travelers, or they’re swiftly shooting down the out-of-business luge run. Travelocity has succeeded as a business because we all want control of our destinies. Perhaps that’s putting it dramatically but the point is made: 2012 travelers are self-possessed, savvy, and resourceful.

Cross Cultural Solutions Welcomes All Volunteers

A Young CCS Volunteer with a Child on His Back

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In my research over the past few months, I’ve come across an astonishingly wide variety of volunteering organizations. Many of them have a specific demographic target: college students, established professionals, the under 18 crowd, or retirees. From a business perspective, it makes good sense to choose a niche. It’s easier to plan for the needs of a specific group than for the needs of all. It’s also easier to market to one demographic—you can focus your efforts on a narrower field of publications, television programs, social media platforms or events. This strategy is ideal for the volunteer looking to find a group of similarly situated people with which to travel and work, but what about the volunteer who wants a more diverse experience?