Most of us have two personality traits we share: the moral obligation to help those in need and the yearning to travel. Sharing love and care with those less fortunate than ourselves and doing what we can to save the planet we all desperately want to explore should never feel like work. In fact, they are things we feel we need to do more of in life. What if there was a practical way to do both at the same time? What if there was an easier way to mix work and pleasure, an easier way to, say, have fun and do good?
Meet Adam Kunes, a Pittsburgh native who sought to follow this calling after working a corporate job right out of college. Kunes quit his job and took off to travel the country in an RV to do volunteer work for three and a half years with a program called “The Call to Serve.” It was on one of the trips where he met Ben Petchel, another Pittsburgh native who joined the program as its second photographer. On the way home from a trip they were on to New York, the two stumbled upon the name Have Fun Do Good.
Have Fun Do Good, or HFDG for short, started off as a group of friends who took different trips around the country, doing volunteer work along the way. When the Instagram started to take off, more people were seeking out to participate. Now, the HFDG team takes trips every year with a group of 13 to 15 volunteers from all around to various places where they can experience fun activities and new sights, as well as making a difference in various communities on a small or large scale. Some annual trips include: a national park tour, where last year the team helped park rangers eradicate an alien plant, while touring multiple different national parks; a trip to Breckenridge, Colorado to help at-risk and disabled youth learn to ski and snowboard, and going down the mountain and exploring on their own on their downtime; and a trip to Costa Rica, where volunteers work with the Leatherback Trust Foundation and at a local school, and learning to surf on off-days. Each trip costs around $1,300 all-inclusive for 4 days, but the memories and impacts made are priceless.
I met Adam after attending one of their local volunteer events, Drink Beer Do Good, where we made sandwiches for the Jubilee Soup Kitchen and drank beer donated to us by Brew Gentleman. Drink Beer Do Good is part of a small series of events that HFDG does to help people volunteer on a local level, to make volunteering more accessible. With teams in Charlotte, NC, Austin, TX, and San Diego and San Francisco, CA, Adam is working on building a team of brand ambassadors to take over organizing the small-scale local volunteering events. Another project of Kunes’ is building a website to aid in promoting the act of local volunteering: volunteerinmycity.com. He and the team will also be working on a new chapter of Have Fun Do Good that will have special trips for their volunteers aged 50 and over.
Have Fun Do Good is full of good-hearted people that are looking to change the lives of others and enrich their own with these trips. If you’re looking for an extra-rewarding vacation with a bunch of cool, new people, saving for one of their trips is a must. You’ll be addicted to the feeling of seeing the world you’re making a difference in. To get some serious travel inspo and get a preview of the trips you could take, follow the team on Instagram @havefundogood and check out their website.
All photos by Ben Petchel for Have Fun Do Good