|by Alison Rohrs||Volunteer Travel||26|
If you took a trip to lend a helping hand last year, you're not alone. In fact, you're one of millions.
About 3.7 million Americans traveled more than 120 miles for service projects between September 2006 and September 2007—according to Volunteering in America, a website launched today with fresh Census data on the topic. The site is run by the government-funded Corporation for National & Community Service, which runs Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and other placement programs for unpaid work.
The ten most popular national "voluntourism" spots include the five Gulf Coast states hit hardest by the 2005 Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma (Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana), plus California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Ohio.
The statistic above only focuses on volunteering trends within the U.S., but more and more Americans are also traveling abroad to volunteer.
For first-hand tips on finding a volunteer vacay that's right for you, check out BudgetTravel.com's Q&A; with CNN anchor Melissa Long, who recently took such a trip. [Volunteer Vacations: A First-Person Account.]