Hostelling International's Great Hostel Give Back 2014: Voluntourists Wanted

Hostelling International Great Hostel Give Back

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Throughout January and February 2014, 17 Hostelling International USA hostels are providing the perfect opportunity for travelers to answer that question for themselves by participating in
 4th annual Great Hostel Giveback! 

The Great Hostel Give Back honors the commitment to civic engagement and volunteer service by offering free overnight stays to groups of ten or more who serve at least two hours per free night in the local community during their visit. 

To qualify, groups will:

  • Commit to at least 2 hours of service per day for each night they plan to stay at the hostel for free.
  • Commit to hosting an activity at the hostel to benefit other guests, such as a community meal or a presentation about their service experience.
  • Have at least 10 members.
  • Complete the online application form.

There are many opportunities for groups to incorporate community service into their travels -- maybe your group will clean up a State Park, volunteer at a school or soup kitchen, or support a community art or garden program. Groups may choose their own service organization or HI-USA can help to identify one in the local host community.

Here in Northern California, the HI-San Francisco City Center Hostel is partnering with Glide Memorial Church to serve a meal to those in need. Located just four blocks from the hostel, "Glide's mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization." The largest provider of social services in San Francisco, Glide currently leads 87 programs addressing such issues as homelessness and mental health, serves over 3,000 meals a day to those in need, runs a community rooftop garden, and leads efforts to promote equality and acceptance for the LGBT community.

Last year, nearly 250 individuals performed more than 2200 hours of community service during the Great Hostel Give Back. HI-USA is proud to support these service-oriented groups who are committed to having a positive impact in their host communities

Interested in other community service organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area? Check out our Alternative Breaks guide for many more volunteer opportunities. 

Join the 2014 Great Hostel Give Back at these participating locations:


HI-Harpers Ferry
HI-Los Angeles Santa Monica
HI-Lucas Malabar Farm
HI-New York
HI-Philadelphia-Chamounix Mansion
HI-Portland Hawthorne District
HI-Portland Northwest
HI-San Diego Downtown
HI-San Francisco City Center
HI-Santa Cruz
HI-Washington DC

For more information contact Amanda Dwyer, National Sales Manager at

If You Go 

Stay at the San Francisco City Center Hostel, in an eclectic neighborhood filled with friendly mom-and-pop shops.