Hit the Road

Well the time has come to hit the road and we’ve sure had a crazy few weeks on tour so far! There have been many long days of driving and getting up early but it has been worth it. Team 1 has ventured from Northern Ontario to Manitoba and back already, but after a quick stop back in Southern Ontario, we will be doing the east coast of Canada! This means going to Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick.
It is so cool to be able to travel across Canada and see our great country. Along the way we have stayed at billet’s houses and they have been so kind and generous to let us stay in their homes. We appreciate it so much and are very thankful for their hospitality – especially for there amazing home cooked meals – it has been such a treat to not have to buy groceries and make supper for myself. Also we are always being entertained whether it is going on hiking trips, hay bale climbing, quading, hot tubbing, movies, or games. Probably my favourite part of billeting at people’s houses is getting to know them and having good conversations.
We have had a lot of amazing shows and have had some great feedback from students and teachers. It is awesome to see that we are making an impact in schools and motivating students to get involved. Our team has been working very hard and it is really showing, we were able to finish set up in 40 minutes at a school. It was our best set up time yet! I am so proud of my team and couldn’t feel luckier to be able to spend the next three months with them. Over a very short period of time we have all become very close and comfortable with each other and it is awesome.
I have had the opportunity to have some great conversations with students. There were some times when I would have students coming up to me almost in tears and thanking me for sharing my story and saying how they related to it. I feel so honoured and privileged to be able to share my story on stage, and when I see how my story can impact people’s lives and give them hope to be able to get through their issues and know that they are not alone. It motivates me everyday to spread the message about kindness and how it has the effect to change people’s lives. I am also learning so much about myself as I take this 9 month journey and I am excited to see what kind of person I will be at the end of it. It is such an amazing experience and I couldn’t feel more happier or blessed to be a part of LiveDifferent. 
Taylor – LiveDifferent Academy Student, Fall 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 23rd, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 21st, 2013

Our Lives Have Changed As Well

Although we have left our own families behind, we have become a part of a bigger family. From the first day we stepped off the bus, it was amazing to feel so welcomed by all of the people in the village. It was like we had known everyone there our whole lives. It was so nice to see people from the village come together to help not only the families we are building for, but us too. The lack of jealousy and generosity is simply mind blowing. 

Today, we did a day in the life activity where we spent the morning with a separate family that consisted of a single mother (22 years old) with a three year old boy. We started the day by hand washing the clothes that were dirty for two weeks, because believe it or not, she simply could not afford detergent. Almost everything done down here is by hand therefore requiring a lot more time and work. We cannot tell you how grateful we should be for having machines to do almost everything back home. We then had to walk to her mother’s house with the clothes in buckets to hang them outside in her back garden (not your typical back garden) to dry. She does not hang them outside her own home because she is afraid that they will be stolen. We could not believe that the little boy had for example, only two pairs of underwear and about three shirts.

On another note, every time it rains the mother has to put plastic bags on the ceiling above their beds because the roof is leaky. Although she does this, some of her things still gets wet including her bed. We also helped her prepare lunch that was provided by LiveDifferent. We helped her cook half of a chicken with rice and a small amount of vegetables that was going to be shared among six people. It was so nice to see how giving she was with so little, to share the meal with some of her family. One thing we couldn’t believe was how little they waste. When we were adding the rice into the pot, she wanted every single grain to go in!

We cannot believe that today was our last day of work! It was extremely hard work but definitely worth the effort and time. We are so looking forward to dedicating the house to the families. Not only will their lives change but ours have as well. 

Ashley & Melanie, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteers, Dominican Republic, Making More Change Trip, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 17th, 2013

From Our Island to Yours

How does one even begin to put into words what an awesome experience that this has been?  I know, there are none.  Here we are, a group of 10 Newfoundlanders traveling more than 5000 miles away from our homes to change the lives of two families.  To say its awesome would be an understatement. There are no words adequate enough to describe this journey.
In this village of Nuevo Renacer its quite evident as you look around to see the change that has already taken place, and with that there is also room for more change.  I truly feel blessed to have been given this opportunity .I also look forward to coming back. In this village I see laughter, smiles, gratitude, dignity and much faith. It was very gratifying indeed today to see the smiles on the faces of Carmen Maria and Ramone as they inserted the keys into the locks of their new homes for the first time .It was a sense of security for them and their children. Their smiles resonated deep within me. This was Thanksgiving week in Canada and we certainly have a lot to be thankful for. I also couldn’t think of another place I would have rather been.  I wish them lots of health and happiness in their new homes!
I look forward to coming back again and make even more change while I plan our second trip in Oct 2014. From our island to yours, may God keep you in the palm of his hand until we meet again!
Janet – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Dominican Republic, Making More Change, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent


Privileged and Honored

Well here we are into our fourth day of our Hero Holiday.  Never would we have imagined the feelings and emotions both mentally and physically that we were about to face when we signed on for this project.  It has not only been four days of intense work, but it has also been time spent getting to know many families and becoming part of their everyday life. We are both so privileged and honored to be part of this amazing life changing experience, which we would not be taking part in without such a wonderful organization known as LiveDifferent and for that we thank you.

Krista and Ronnie, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteers, Dominican Republic, Making More Change Trip, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent


I am so proud to be a part of this change.

How does anyone even begin to describe an experience such as this? I for one have no idea how I will go back home and try to process this experience. I am very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to witness and be part of the change that is currently taking place in Nueveo Rancer. I am only 15 myself, and I am totally amazed at the amount of young girls my age who are left on their own, and are already mothers. These people with smiles for everyone and are so welcoming to us. The children here work as hard or harder as any adults, anywhere. I am enjoying every free minute I get to spend time with the children for they are the happiest people you could meet, even with the little that they do have. I was also able to spend a few hours in a house with a family. I was amazed by how much we really take for granted. Things such as turning on a light switch, and turning on tap aren’t so easy here. I am so proud to be a part of this change.

Amber – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteer, Dominican Republic, Making More Change Trip 2013

Author: LiveDifferent


A Day in the Life

Two friends started out on this adventure by deciding they would join this wonderful team, Making More Change. Now that we are here there is so much more than what we could ever have expected.
Today we went into the village expecting to be mixing cement and trowling mortar. Instead we were placed with a wonderful couple where we had to spend a day in their shoes. We washed dishes,swept and mopped floors, and then prepared a meal with them. All the while learning who they are! We cannot believe how proud and thankful this family was to have us in their home. When we were leaving the father asked us to close our eyes so he could pray for us. Even though we could not understand his words at that time, you could feel they were coming from his heart. As he was thanking us for coming and doing so much for them, all I could say back was “thank you for all you have given us.” 
This trip has opened our eyes in so many ways. Although we have a good few days left we can not wait to see what tomorrow will bring. LiveDifferent will enrich the lives of two Dominican families with a home, but we feel that all of our families will be enriched from our experience. 
– Anne Marie & Lorna, LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteers, Fall 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 15th, 2013

There’s one “Chelsea” in every crowd

After going on my first Hero Holiday in 2011 to the Dominican Republic, I realized on that trip that my passion was to bring change to the lives of others. Now being blessed enough to be a student in LiveDifferent Academy and getting to make a change in a different person’s life everyday – it is the best feeling. LiveDifferent Academy is an eight month experience of personal growth and spreading love. Four months are spent touring across Canada, West or East coast, doing motivational presentations in high schools. Being an East Coast girl, I’m ecstatic to be touring the West Coast. We’re one month into our touring so far and it’s been an amazing one for sure. 
Nervous, scared, intimidated, or excited: the emotion for me doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I can try and touch at least one kid’s heart or mind, and that there’s bound to be one “Chelsea” in every audience. Even if it feels like no one listened, or I messed up my story, there’s hopefully going to be that one person that listened. The feeling that comes with a show ending is an interesting feeling. I’m so proud of my team for nailing another show- “NAILED IT” as we say! There is also the feeling of nervous anticipation as students approach you to discuss the show, whether it be about how much they loved the band or the lights, it doesn’t matter what we talk about, but my absolute favourite moment after a show is when that one “Chelsea” comes up to me after the show and says she/he can relate to my story. Even now after having grown up a bit and knowing that I’m not alone with my feelings of self consciousness or feeling alone, it’s still very nice and reassuring when someone says they know how you feel. I hope that with me sharing my personal story of struggles in junior high, that I can make sure students know that they are not alone, whatsoever. 
Even if I’m having a hard day on the road from lack of sleep or feeling sick, it’s never that bad of a day because I’m surrounded by an amazing group of friends that I’m travelling with and being with students everyday that think I’m a total rock star for sharing my story on stage. They think I’m the rock star, but honestly, they are. The fact that they have the courage to come up and talk to me, (a complete stranger to them), about all the things happening in their life, is really a heart warming feeling. 
I remember watching LiveDifferent presentations for a few year when I was still in High School, and always thinking about how admirable these people on stage were. The fact that I now get to be that person, bringing happiness to the lives of others by inserting hope for the future is honestly the best feeling I’ve ever experienced in my short nineteen years. Some may think it’s a selfish thing, basing your own happiness off of making others feeling good, but to me I would try and make these people happy even if it wasn’t making me feel happy. If we as a LiveDifferent team get to affect people’s lives every day and bring some happiness and put a smile on at least one face a day, then we’ve done our job, whether it is with my super bad jokes or the simple fact that they now have the reassurance that everyone has their own struggles. Those struggles don’t have to define us, they can shape us into the people we are, by making us the best humans we can possibly be. There’s one “Chelsea” in every crowd, and I hope with all my heart I can put a smile on their face.
– Chelsea, LiveDifferent Academy Student, Fall 2013

Author: LiveDifferent


Boston Pizza and LiveDifferent Love Making a Difference

Do you love pizza and love to do a little good for the world at the same time? Check out the Boston Pizza Foundation’s Kids Cards! From now until October 31, the sale of BP Kids Cards will be benefitting charities across Canada, and LiveDifferent is one of the charities that are going to feel the love!

The Boston Pizza Foundation is charity partners with many amazing organizations across Canada, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, JDRF, Kids Help Phone and LiveDifferent. The foundation also helps to support and sustain a host of regional and local efforts across Canada. 

LiveDifferent is proud to partner with the people at the Boston Pizza Foundation and we are proud of all that we are accomplishing together. During the month of October, for a minimum donation of $5 to the Kids Cards, you will receive 5 free kids meals.

Heck, at that price, why not take the neighbourhood out for a little Boston Pizza and help LiveDifferent in the process?




Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 11th, 2013

Makin More Change Trip

So here we are after our first day visiting the village we will be working in. We had no idea how life changing this experience is actually going to be. The sense of community and love for one another was overwhelming. We don’t realize how lucky and privileged we are to live in a country like Canada. The things that we take for granted every day are things that those people could only dream of. 

The people at LiveDifferent are doing so much to help these people to have a chance for a better life, not only for the families we are building the homes, for but for each and every person in their village and we are so grateful that they have given us this opportunity to help them make a difference. It is In giving that we receive, and they are giving us so much more that we could possibly ever give just by the smiles on their faces and showing us their love. It is more than we could have ever imagined!

Michelle & Michelle – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Volunteers, Dominican Republic, Fall 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: October 10th, 2013