Volunteer Trips are an amazing opportunity for families or small groups to work side by side with developing communities. Groups travel to a partner community to build, teach, and learn. The typical model is to raise funds for a construction, health, education, or economic development project then travel to the community to assist with the hands-on implementation. Examples include building homes and school rooms, providing trades or health training, and working with community members on their new business.
91 cents of every $1 donation goes directly to programs:
- $50 can educate a child for 3 months
- $100 can support health education for a whole community for 1 month
- $250 can provide water filters for 10 families
- $500 can save trees by supporting efficient stoves for 10 families
Some projects are more conducive to this model than others. When planning a trip its important to be realistic about fundraising goals, expenses, and maximizing impact. For instance, airfare and expenses for 15 students to deliver books does not make a lot of sense. On the other hand, a group raising enough money to build houses and then going to provide labor for a week is a great idea! Having team members with needed expertise on site is also fantastic.
Meeting the people you are helping and seeing first hand the problems and solutions, fosters an understanding and instills a commitment to making the world better. These type of trips also serve as a rallying point for groups to get involved and develop a relationship with a partner community. Often times a large group will raise funds and help organize the trip for either students, younger members, or persons with a special expertise or skill set to actual travel to the project site.
These type of trips are a wonderful opportunity for small classes, student clubs and organizations, church groups, scouting groups, and families. GRACE Cares will not organize trips but can provide outlines and checklists to help plan your groups’ trip. Aside from linking you with project contacts we can provide knowledge and lessons learned from previous groups to make your trip as smooth as possible. We always have a list of project ideas of all different funding and labor commitment levels ready to go. The best way to get started is to Contact Us and set-up a time to talk.
At this time the best match for this type of trip is with our partner communities in the Dominican Republic through Project Hearts. Project Director Ruben Ottenwalder can arrange for transportation and housing for as many as twenty volunteers for up to a week. A popular idea has been to build a house. Additional needs include assistance with school room construction, preparing land for farming, setting up a furniture making community enterprise, expanding the egg farm, and procuring a boat, nets and training for fishing.
Groups visiting Project Hearts can expect delicious food, warm hospitality, and good company. Outings to the city of Santiago, cultural sites, the reservoir, and the beach can be incorporated. They can also arrange for Spanish lessons, bible study and tours of the area.
We are in the process of preparing materials on opportunities, ideas, expenses and logistics. For now, please Contact Us.