2018 Out of the Darkness Walk #MentalHealthAwareness #StopSuicide

This past weekend, we participated in and volunteered for the AFSP New Jersey Chapter of the Out of The Darkness Walk. This walk helped raise awareness for mental health and to fight suicide. As of today it raised $122,000 and counting. There were over 1,100 participants walk in Verona Park alone – a great turnout.
walk to end suicide
Ever walker and donor is helping fund the research to help us better understand the complexities of suicide and how best to prevent it. You are making free education and resources possible for the community. You are the voice that advocates on behalf of those who can’t. And you support programs for those who have been touched by suicide. Most importantly, you are breaking the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide by standing up for this important issue, and showing those affected that they are not alone.
Please note that you can donate to the cause.  Please feel free to donate here! Remember, 84 cents of every dollar donated will go to suicide prevention.
Thank you for all you do to fight suicide and raise awareness.

Volunteers Set to Restore Public Lands from Coast to Coast

On September 22, 2018, volunteers are expected to turn out in droves at parks, forests, beaches, rivers, and other public lands throughout the country to celebrate the 25th annual National Public Lands Day (NPLD). Organized each year by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), National Public Lands Day promotes the connection between people and the environment by inviting everyone to get outside. With support from NPLD national corporate sponsor Toyota, eight federal agency partners, hundreds of state and local partners, and dozens of nonprofit organizations, National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort.

“Whether it’s an iconic place like Yellow Stone National Park, the soccer fields down the street, or a strip of greenspace in the middle of the city, our nation’s public lands offer limitless opportunities for recreation and relaxation,” said NEEF President Meri-Margaret Deoudes. “National Public Lands Day is the perfect opportunity to spend the day outside with friends and family, caring for and enjoying these special places.”

The theme for this year’s National Public Lands Day is restoration and resilience. On National Public Lands Day, more than 200,000 volunteers are expected to turn out for trail maintenance and planting projects, trash pick-ups, and other refurbishing activities aimed at restoring public lands and making them more resilient. The day will also feature a variety of education, health, and recreation activities—all set on the backdrop of the country’s public lands and waterways.

“Natural disasters and extreme weather, human activities, and a host of other factors wreak havoc on our public lands and threaten the health and wellbeing of the people and wildlife who depend on them,” said Deoudes, noting that in 2017, weather and climate disasters caused more than $306 billion in damages—the highest annual cost in U.S. history. “If we want to continue to enjoy all the benefits these outdoor spaces have to offer, we have to help care for, restore and work to make these special places more resilient to future threats.”

NEEF is partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) and Toyota to host a signature NPLD event at Big Thicket National Preserve, which suffered extensive damages last August when Hurricane Harvey blew through the 113,000 acres of land and water spread over seven counties in Southeast Texas. Over the past year, park officials and volunteers have mounted a steady clean-up effort, but some areas still need help. NPS plans to mobilize volunteer support during NPLD 2018 to restore areas that have remaining storm damage and debris.

A sample of other restoration and resilience activities planned for NPLD 2018 includes:

  • At Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, located in the northeastern corner of Washington, D.C. at the Maryland state border, National Public Lands Day has been a mainstay event since 2001. This year, more than 200 volunteers are expected to turn out for trail maintenance, litter removal, and other restoration activities. A highlight of the event is clearing out the site’s water lily ponds and preparing them for the harsh winter weather. In a few hours, NPLD volunteers typically knock out work it would take staff months to complete.
  • Climbers in Yosemite National Park are poised to give the giant cliffs their annual facelift. Members of the Yosemite Climbing Association are planning a massive clean-up effort around National Public Lands Day to remove the wear and tear visitors and nature take on this iconic park each year. Last year, more than 1,400 Yosemite Facelift volunteers contributed a total of 9,692 hours and collected 14,762 pounds of trash.
  • Volunteers at the Plumb Beach Clean Up at Gateway National Recreation Area, just three miles east of New York’s Coney Island on Jamaica Bay, will help revitalize precious marine habitat and salt marshes. Naturalists will also be on site to educate volunteers about the creatures that live in the Bay.

More than 2,000 volunteer projects will take place throughout the nation, including 40 sites where Toyota team members volunteer.

“National Public Lands Day provides meaningful opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to give back to public lands in communities across the nation,” said Kevin Butt, Toyota Motor North America’s general manager of environmental sustainability. “Through our collective action, we can help contribute to the creation of a more sustainable future.” The company’s participation in NPLD supports the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050.

National Public Lands Day is a fee-free day for most federal sites as well as many state parks. Participating federal sites reward volunteers with a coupon good for free entry to any public land managed by one of the NPLD federal partners any time before National Public Lands Day 2019.

To learn more about National Public Lands Day or search for an event on NEEF’s interactive map, log on to NEEFUSA.org/NPLD.

Take Volunteering to a Whole New Level with VolunteerWorld.com

Whether you are a philanthropist, an adventurer or simply a vacation seeking wanderluster, eager to explore the world and make your travels more meaningful, volunteering abroad is the best solution to make your journey most impactful.

Volunteering ignites a self-satisfying spirit of putting your one cent in a cause greater than oneself, while also dishing out a bonus ride in exploring new cultures, communities and ecosystems.

VolunteerWorld.com is the largest volunteer abroad comparison platform worldwide. We know saving the world from the evil forces of social and political injustice and utter ignorance of one’s environment can be quite intimidating, so here are the best 5 countries to volunteer in 2018 to help you spark some inspiration.

South Africa

South Africa is the most economically and commercially developed countries of Africa that offers a variety of beautiful natural landscapes and interaction with a number of ethnic communities with histories worth learning. Even with much advancement, it struggles with the dilemmas of HIV/AIDS, wildlife preservation and underprivileged communities.

Volunteer abroad in South Africa to conserve endangered species by signing up for wildlife sanctuary programs or help cater children in orphanage care, or programs regarding teaching, health care and sports.


Home to a blend of indigenous languages, religions and cultures, India provides a refreshing culture shock you don’t want to miss. An extensive history stored in its impressive architecture and diversity engraved in its ecosystem, it is one of the best places to travel and volunteer abroad.

With its economy constantly upgrading and society evolving, combating poverty, illiteracy and social taboos has created volunteering opportunities left and right.

Choose from a variety of programs relating orphanage work, healthcare programs, teaching and women empowerment.


Australia is a sunny beautiful nation with a number attractions that can never bore you. From the diving paradise of the Great Barrier Reef to the diverse landscapes in the Outback and the bustling cities of Sydney and Melbourne, various volunteering opportunities awaits outdoor travel enthusiasts in this country.

Find programs at VolunteerWorld regarding environment, wildlife and sea life conservation or explore projects for community development as well.


One of the most popular, aesthetic and economical places to travel and volunteer in SouthEast Asia is Thailand. Famous for its cheap eats and exotic tropical beaches, ancient temples, palaces and ruins, this country open opportunities to a wide variety of activities.

Volunteer abroad in Thailand to help the victims of human trafficking, rescue elephants to wildlife sanctuaries or work in projects regarding child development, nursing and medical.


Peru is renown for the citadel of Machu Picchu, one of the 7 wonders of the world. Home to a large indigenous population who suffered from centuries long oppression, Peru is now building up by a number of social reform volunteer programs.

Opportunities awaits in the Land of Incas for people willing to work for community development, education and health care in underserved rural communities.

If you have the resilient adventurous spirit to hike up the Andes Mountain or surf  beaches or volunteer in the Amazon for environmental conservation then the variety alone makes Peru the best place to volunteer abroad.

These are just 5 countries out of 195 countries of the world with people, animals and nature struggling to set its course straight, but no worries, as Shams of Tabriz sums it beautifully, East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

Explore VoluteerWorld.com and find the best package of exotic tourism and exciting volunteer package that matches your dream and passion for This year now.