How to Join Helping Hands International

“Helping Hands International” is the name of several U.S.-based charities that may be worth supporting, as well as a recent pyramid/Ponzi scheme (also known as “H2i”) that you should avoid at all costs. One of the largest (but still relatively small) U.S. charities by this name is a Christian organization based in Oregon that is committed to service abroad. If you join this Helping Hands International, you might serve at an orphanage in Guadalajara or help with infrastructure in a Kenyan village. You can also sponsor a child in need or donate to the organization through their website.

1
Pick a project. Helping Hands International always has several projects that you can join, spread throughout the year. Start by looking at the trip information for each project. Look at the cost and time period of each project to determine if it’s right for you. Alternatively, choose a project that’s close to your heart.[1]

  • For instance, you could build houses in Mexico, work at an orphanage in Guadalajara, or help with disaster relief.
2
Apply for a service opportunity. Fill out the short form on the website to get started with the process. All you need to fill out is your name and your email, as well as which project you’d like to join.[2]
3
Save up for the trip. Each project costs money to join. The cost helps cover your travel expenses while you’re away. Trips generally range from $400 to $1,000 USD, plus airfare as of 2018.[3]

  • If the costs are an issue for you, see if you can get people to sponsor your trip. Since it’s a service trip, people may be willing to help with the costs, particularly if you’re connected to a religious organization.
4
Apply for a passport and any needed visas. To travel to any other country, including Mexico, you’ll need a passport. In some cases, you may also need a visa to travel to the country. To apply for a passport, fill out an application form, and then submit it with passport photos and your fee.[4]

  • You will also need to prove you’re a citizen with documentation.
  • To determine if you need a visa, check the country at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html.
5
Check for travel alerts and advisories before you go. The U.S. State Department puts out travel advisories for various countries around the world. It’s important to check what advisories are listed for the country you’re traveling to, so you can be prepared once you’re there. You can search for the appropriate country at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages.html.

  • You should also check that page for any vaccinations you may need before traveling.
6
Consider purchasing travel insurance. Having medical travel insurance is a good idea when traveling in any country without a good healthcare infrastructure. Look for insurance that will cover you being flown out of the country to be treated. You may also want travel insurance to cover things like missed flights, lost luggage, or other misadventures.[5]

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