In today's Dispatch, Columbus Parent editor Jane Hawes talks about "volunteer vacations" and specifically about how families can use their vacations to do good deeds. She talked to E.J. Thomas, CEO of the Habitat for Humanity Greater Columbus, about their projects. Many families help out locally (though you have to be at least 16 to work onsite with construction), but also travel to work sites throughout the world through Habitat International's Global Village program.

She also spotlighted a great article in this month's Columbus Parent by freelance writer Robin Chenoweth. Chenoweth, her husband Doral (a Dispatch videographer) and their children, Cassie, 13, and Kurtis, 10, traveled to Tanzania last summer for three weeks to help out at an orphanage and school there www.lohada.org. And while you might think that such a journey is beyond your capabilities, Robin also dug up some great tips on how to make it doable. Be sure to read and find out more!