Serving in The Dominican Republic brings unique ways to serve. This is how one ILP group changed the lives of those in the community they lived and volunteered in!
The kids you teach in the DR come from humble circumstances where meeting even daily needs is a financial struggle. The service you give them is a generous gift because speaking the English language fluently will give them brighter futures and more opportunities as they move forward in life (especially in a country where tourism thrives).
Interested in volunteering abroad but have some obstacles in your way? Here's how to overcome common things that stop you from volunteering!
This ILP group not only made a difference teaching English to the kids, but also served the community around them. Adri W. and Janessa F. share how their group found a need and helped meet it. Here's how they made a difference!
First of all, how did you come up with this idea?
Janessa shares what helped them decide to do this as their fundraiser, she said:
"Amarilis, the local coordinator, arranged for us to go and visit a very poor neighborhood near to us. Seeing just how these people lived- termites, holes in their roofs, rusting holes in the sides of their homes, wood leaned together to make walls, dirt floors, no windows and inconsistent power- trying to provide a few meals or even a roof seemed like a good place to start."
What was your goal with fundraising?
"Amarilis told us $10 would be enough to buy a food pack to feed a family for 3 days and that $500 would actually buy a new roof for a family. Nobody set a certain goal amount, but we did hope to be able to buy at least one roof and maybe feed some families."
How did you raise the money and get the word out to others?
Adri shared how social media helped them get the word out:
"I took some pictures of our community and the conditions our students lived in and posted them on social media. I posted them on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and I reached out to people through text. I wrote a paragraph explaining if anyone would like to help their donations were extremely appreciated and would go to good use."
Did You Reach Your Goal?
The girls in the DR far surpassed their goal and actually had enough money raised to build a new house for a woman named Esperanza:
"Within a week we had far surpassed our goal of one roof- and we were quickly heading towards the amounts that could permanently change the life of a family. When we approached Amarilis with the amount of money we were blessed with from generous friends and family, she was so excited and had inspiration of just the family whose life needed a little extra blessing. We all gathered together one day after teaching to walk over and share the exciting news with Esperanza and her four well deserving children. Amarilis translated the great news we were thrilled to share. Esperanza was overcome with gratitude. She thanked us and continually asking God to bless us for the generosity of everyone."
How did the fundraiser impact those you served?
Adri shares her thoughts on how this impacted Esperanza, saying:
"I don’t even know how to explain how what we did really impacted the families we served. When we told Esperanza we had enough money to build her family a new home she broke out in tears of joy. She hugged and thanked every single one of us and we cried too. Those families have homes now. A lot of those families had metal and boards up for walls and now they have real cement walls."
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