Do good, do well: Volunteer ID cardholders receive travel discounts

Do good, do well: Volunteer ID cardholders receive travel discounts










National Volunteer Week begins Sunday, April 18, a week created by President Nixon in 1974 to honor volunteers. What better way to celebrate than discovering that volunteerism can be more than its own reward?

VolunteerIDCard was launched in April 2009 to bring travel and shopping discounts to people who put others first.  Discounts for card-carrying members of the VolunteerIDcard include:

•Special humanitarian and volunteer airfares that can help take volunteers to areas where natural disasters have struck,  such as Haiti or Chile. Additional proof of volunteer status is often requested;

•Backpacker rate on the Great Southern Railway in Australia, featuring service on the Ghan, Indian Pacific, the Overland and the Southern Spirit for train travel throughout Australia. (Note that the Backpacker rate is for Red Service only – Red Twin Cabin for two or Red Day-Nighter Seat for one – and represents a 50% discount off the regular adult Red Service fare. On the website, click on a train, then look for Red Service fares on the left, such as this description of Red Day Nighter service on the Ghan);

•15% discount on Greyhound bus tickets in the U.S. and Australia;

•15% discount on Amtrak tickets;

•$20 discount on Eurail;

•Accommodation discounts ranging from 10% to 50% off at Super 8, Days Inn, Wyndham Hotels (20% off the best available rate) and thousands of hostels worldwide through the HostelResCard network;

•Shopping discounts at such retailers as and GAIAM; and

•Discounts at restaurants across the United States.

Founder Lisa Vigorito says VolunteerIDcard performs spot checks on about 10% of online submissions to verify a volunteer organization exists.  Almost 90% of its members, however, receive their cards from volunteer organizations that have purchased them at wholesale prices from VolunteerIDcard.  (The largest cardholder base is in Australia.) If a spot check revealed an organization didn’t exist, an applicant’s money would be refunded, and a card would not be issued.

Vigorito says they continually seek additional travel and shopping benefits, emphasizing Fair Trade and eco-friendly retailers.  Although most discount providers have been lenient about requirements, Vigorito says humanitarian airfare providers have their own verification process.

 Cost:  $25 for an individual card without photo or $29.99 with a photo.

 Info: Volunteer ID Cards, (800) 255-7000.

 -Terry Gardner, special to the Los Angeles Times

Photo: Volunteer ID Card, which offers savings to those who give of their time. Credit: Volunteer ID Card.

By LA Times

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