20 creative fundraising ideas to help you make an impact

Are you looking for a creative and unique way to raise funds for your favourite charity? Then look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 20 creative fundraising ideas to help you reach your goals.

These activities are a great way to raise money, bring people together and have fun. From bake sales to trivia nights and everything in between, there’s something to suit everyone’s interests and skill sets.

Ready to make a difference? Let’s get started!

Fundraising for a LiveDifferent Build

At LiveDifferent, we believe that everyone can make an impact, no matter how big or small.

Fundraising for a LiveDifferent Build may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll be able to point people to your own personal fundraising page and when they donate $20 or more to your Build, we’ll be able to issue them a tax receipt. This means donors will be able to claim up to 100% of their donation on their tax return. This is a nice perk to mention when asking friends and family for support.

The sooner you start fundraising the better. It’s important to set goals to make sure you meet the fundraising requirements in time for your Build. So before you start, be sure to ask yourself:

  • How much money needs to be raised?
  • When do I need to raise it by?
  • What resources do I have available?
  • What kind of fundraiser will my community support?
  • How much money will I realistically raise with each fundraiser?

These questions will help you plan and focus your efforts. With LiveDifferent, you have the freedom to choose how you raise funds: you can create your own unique fundraiser or use one of our pre-made templates, such as Fund-a-Flight, Fund-a-Project or Fund-a-Vacation.

Whatever your goal is, we can help you get there.

20 creative fundraisers

These creative fundraising ideas will help you rally your community to support your cause.

The more people who know about your fundraiser, the more successful you’ll be, so be sure to use social media, email, flyers and even local newspapers, radio and television to help spread the word. And whatever fundraiser you choose, highlight that all proceeds go towards a charity—this will encourage even more people to come!

Ready to make your Build a reality? Here are some of our volunteers’ favourite ways to fundraise:

Yard sale

Declutter your home and make some cash at the same time. Go through your house and find anything you no longer want or need, ask your friends and neighbours to do the same, and set up a sale in your yard. You’ll be surprised at how much you can raise from second-hand items!

Bake sale

If you’re handy in the kitchen, now’s your time to get creative and whip up all sorts of delicious treats, from cakes, cupcakes and cookies, to pies and pastries. Plus, it’s a great way to get the community involved, as people can donate their baking skills and time to make something special. You could even take this to the next level and sell a community cookbook. Not only is it a great way to raise money, but it’s also an opportunity to bring people together and share a little sweetness.

Lori Nitah and Shirley Christiansen baked a few pies for their trip.

Craft sale

Are you crafty? You can sell handmade items such as jewelry, cards, paintings, knitwear and more, or you can even showcase products from local artisans. With a craft sale, you can also set up activities like face painting, balloon animals and other fun activities to make the event more entertaining.


Enjoy delicious food with friends and family at a good old-fashioned BBQ! You can make an entire day of it with lawn games, water fights and maybe a hot dog eating contest or two.

You can also partner with a local business for an even bigger impact—they can match donations or donate food and drinks to support the event (your local Boston Pizza might be a good place to start!). They’ll get brand exposure and you’ll be able to amplify your fundraising efforts; it’s a win-win.

Shave a head

Is there someone your school would love to see without any hair? This fundraiser has the potential to raise a large amount in a short period of time. You can ask your friends to donate an amount for each inch of hair your volunteers are willing to shave off, or shave someone’s entire head by reaching a fundraising goal (maybe even their eyebrows!).

Car wash

Get your friends on board and set up a car wash at your local gas station (with the manager’s approval of course). Create big signs and have volunteers on the street directing people your way. You could have a set price or request donations. With the right planning and a little bit of elbow grease, a car wash can be a great way to make a difference!

Raffles and 50-50 draws

Find or make something of value and sell tickets for that item. It might be an autographed picture of someone famous, season tickets, gift cards or even a weekend getaway! You might even be able to get things donated to the raffle from local businesses.

To make it simple, sell tickets for a 50-50 draw letting everyone know 50% of the money raised goes to the name pulled in the draw, and 50% goes towards your fundraising goal. Remember to check if you are required to obtain a license to host a raffle.

Barb Moore Crowson’s horseshoe art.


A “marathon” style fundraiser is a great way to have fun and raise money. To get started, decide on an activity such as a walk-a-thon, dance-a-thon or read-a-thon, and set a goal for the amount of money you would like to raise. Invite friends, family, and community members to join in the fun, and have participants collect pledges based on the number of miles walked, hours danced, pages read, etc.


Bring people together for some friendly competition! Whether it’s a three-on-three basketball tournament, a mini-golf tournament or even a video game tournament, there’s something to appeal to everyone. If you want to take it a step further, reach out to your school’s athletic department to see if any upcoming tournaments are looking for a cause to donate their proceeds.

Sell a kilometre

People can help fund your trip by purchasing kilometres. To do this, calculate the cost of the entire trip to your destination. Then divide this cost by the number of kilometres you will be travelling. This will tell you the cost per kilometre. People can then choose to fund as many kilometres as they like at that cost.

You can also keep track of your fundraising progress with a map of your round-trip route. As you raise money, mark off the distance covered by the sponsors. FYI: Toronto to Sosua, DR, is approximately 3,200 km; and Toronto to Vicente Guerrero, MX, is approximately 4,200 km.

Bottle drive

Ask your family, friends and neighbours to donate their used bottles and cans for redemption. You can even have a friendly competition to see who can bring in the most recyclables. A bottle drive is an easy and effective way to raise money—it’s also environmentally friendly!

Paint night

Bring people together to create something beautiful. Invite a local artist to lead the painting session to make the night even more memorable. You can also provide snacks and drinks while you create your unique masterpieces. No experience necessary—all you need is a brush and a sense of adventure!

Trivia night

Put your smarts to the test and compete with friends and family in a series of rounds of trivia. Create a variety of trivia categories, such as pop culture, current events, sports and music—bonus points If you include some trivia about the place you’re travelling to for your build. You can also offer food, drinks and even prizes for the top teams.

Silent auction

Guests can bid on items of their choice and the highest bidder will take home the prize. You can offer a variety of items like gift baskets, gift certificates, experiences or custom artwork. You can even get local businesses to donate products for a tax receipt equal to the goods donated. Jazz it up as much as you like: Have food for sale, a band and even a multi-media Builds presentation.

Benefit concert

Do you know a band that would be willing to donate their time and talent for a free concert? Or a theatre troupe that is ready to take the stage for a memorable musical performance? Find a local venue to host the concert and put on a fun event for your friends, family and community. Be sure to select a venue that is licensed for this type of event.

Tyler Leighton and friends worked tirelessly to bring together the Music of the Night benefit concert. Photo Credit: Kayla Gordon

Fine dining

Invite friends and family to come together for a delicious meal. You can offer a variety of options for dinner, from a potluck-style dinner to a more formal sit-down dinner. To make it easy, you can provide a suggested donation amount for guests to contribute.

You can also make it extra special by researching local foods from the area you’ll be travelling to for your Build and including them in the meal. This is great as a way to give more information to your guests about what you are doing as well!

Community work

Offer to do odd jobs around town. Think gardening, pet sitting, babysitting, housework, car repairs or even carpentry; whatever people need doing that suits your skill set. You can advertise online or post flyers around your community; the fee would be whatever people would like to pay.

Local businesses and community groups

This is a great way to find corporate or community sponsorship opportunities in your area! Many local businesses and community groups are willing to support charitable efforts and may be interested in partnering with you. You can also leverage their networks to spread the word about your Build.

City and school council

Tap into the resources of your city and school! Oftentimes, local town councils have a stockpile of grant money available to support fundraisers such as this and may be able to offer sponsorship. School councils also host a ton of events throughout the year and may be willing to donate some of their proceeds. Connect with your local council members to see if this is an option.

Birthday or holiday fundraiser

Celebrate your special day by giving back! On an occasion when you would normally receive presents from friends and family, let all the gift-givers know that you would appreciate a donation to your trip instead. This is a great way to show everyone that it’s better to give than receive!

Learn more

No matter what type of fundraiser you choose, the most important thing is to have fun and be creative! With a little bit of planning, you can come up with a successful fundraiser that will help you reach your goals.

Now that you’ve gotten some great ideas for your upcoming fundraiser, it’s time to get started. Set a goal, create a plan and start reaching out to friends and family to help you make it happen. With the right attitude and a bit of hard work, you’ll be well on your way to making the world a better place, one fundraiser at a time!

Download our “20 Creative Fundraising Ideas” PDF

Author: Gina Alward

Date: July 10th, 2023

Building a home with Anakil: How LiveDifferent chooses families to welcome home

Strong connections are what make a LiveDifferent Build truly special. And when Tara Ryan came to the Dominican Republic in 2018, she felt an instant connection after meeting Anakil.
“There was just something – I was really drawn to him,” she said. “When I looked into his eyes, I saw stories. When I looked at his hands, I saw a hard worker. It’s just a little something that pulled at my heartstrings.”
Anakil is the oldest member of the community. Originally from Haiti, he does not have any family members around to help care for him. His friends and neighbours try their best to look out for him, understanding the struggles they all face. But unfortunately, it isn’t enough.
So when Tara met him, she thought about how she would feel if this was her parent, and immediately wanted to help.

Bringing Anakil Home

At the time, Tara was able to support Anakil in smaller ways, but the biggest thing she wanted was to see him in a safe home.
“I have never wanted something so much for someone else like I did the new house for Anakil,” says Tara.
Tara has been volunteering with LiveDifferent for the past nine years and has helped build 30 homes. She brings her team, Army of One, down to the Dominican Republic each year to help build these homes, but this year was extra special.
Tara has been advocating for Anakil to have a new home since she first met him. She has passionately followed LiveDifferent’s efforts to collaborate with community leaders and neighbours to overcome the obstacles preventing this from happening. When Tara learned that it was finally possible for us to build with Anakil, she was completely overjoyed.
Together with the group, Todos Somos Uno, the two teams worked tirelessly for 10 days so they could give Anakil a safe and secure place to call his own. It was an unforgettable experience for all involved and one that Tara will treasure for a lifetime.
So what did it take to finally bring Anakil home?

Identifying families for a Build

Our selection process for determining which families we build with and when is based on our core values of respect, compassion and empathy.
When we work in a community, we strive to build strong relationships with local families, leaders and volunteers, and take the time to understand the local context and culture. We rely on community leaders and neighbourhood committees, and through genuine conversations and consultation, we determine who needs a home the most.
When identifying families, we take into account a variety of factors, such as family size, health, income, and the condition of their current house. We also consider the family’s past efforts and involvement in community projects.
One of the main requirements is that families need to own their own property. If we build for a family who is renting and the owner then raises the rental fee, these families would be displaced. This way, we can ensure families have the stability and peace of mind they need to grow and thrive.
LiveDifferent is not just about building homes – we are about restoring dignity and worth to the communities we serve. We are committed to fostering meaningful relationships with the families we build with, which is why it’s important that we work side by side and show how much we value them and their contribution to the project.
Because of this, families also commit to building their own septic system (if necessary), providing water for mixing cement, meals for the contractors/helpers, and taking care of the tools and building materials provided.
We recognize that the process of identifying which family to build with is not an easy one, but we take our responsibility in making sure it is done right very seriously. We are here for the long haul, and by working in collaboration with local leaders, government officials and other organizations, we believe we’ve created a process that is both fair and effective.

Get in on the action!

We are committed to helping families and communities improve their lives. We are honoured to be welcomed into these communities and love bringing volunteers along for the ride.
If you’d like to join us in making a real, lasting change in people’s lives, come volunteer with us! Together, we can make a world of difference.

Author: Gina Alward

Date: March 15th, 2023

How our volunteers are making a world of difference

Volunteering is an important part of creating positive change in our world.

LiveDifferent relies heavily on volunteers to support our mission and we are truly grateful for their dedication and hard work in making this change possible.

For more than twenty years, our volunteers have been making a difference in the lives of people in need. From humanitarian work in Mexico, Haiti and the Dominican Republic to inspiring youth across Canada, our volunteers embody what it means to live a life of caring for others.

From those who have been with us for years to those who have recently joined our ranks, each and every one of our volunteers is a valuable asset to our organization and to our cause.

Bill Rawlins’ 18-year journey with LiveDifferent

As a long-time volunteer, Bill Rawlins – president of the Parksville Rotary Club – has seen first-hand the impact that his efforts have had on the communities that LiveDifferent serves. Bill joined us on our first Build ever in the Dominican Republic, and over the past 18 years, has been on more than 50 Builds.

Bill was a principal at a high school in Parksville when he first heard of LiveDifferent—though back then, it was known as Absolute Leadership Development, Inc. After one of our in-school presentations in 2005, Bill’s daughter Lauren was the only student at the school to sign up for our first Build. Bill joined her as a Team Leader and the rest is history— from the Dominican Republic to Mexico, to Haiti and back.

“The project was digging a water line from a natural spring on the hillside down into the village of Ascension,” said Bill. “What was happening in that village, some of the kids were dying from the parasites in the water they were drinking, that was coming up through a rusty old hand pump.”

The team succeeded in getting the water line to the top of the village, and Bill and his daughter returned the next year to continue their volunteer efforts. It was during that return trip that Bill truly understood his impact, which has kept him coming back ever since.

The power of compassion

While touring through the village of Ascension with our team in 2006, Bill and Lauren came upon a bunker where a woman was cooking lunch for her and her two children. The kids had “swollen tummies, orange-coloured hair,” and were “obviously severely malnourished.”

And in her frying pan for their lunch, the woman was cooking two meagre fish heads.

“I was done. I was absolutely done,” Bill said. “I looked at Lauren, she looked at me [with tears in our eyes] and I said, ‘This is not right sweetie, this is not right.’ And she said, ‘Daddy, it is not. What do we do? What can we do to change this?”

Bill shared this story with his fellow members at the Parksville Rotary Club as an example of how bad things can be for those living in poverty and told them they needed to do whatever they could to help address this issue.

Part of the Rotary Club’s mandate is to fundraise and finance an international and community project every year, and while it was standard for them to write checks for causes in the past, Bill was motivated to get them more involved in a hands-on way.

The result has been amazing.

Since 2014, the Parksville Rotary Club has travelled down to Mexico to build houses, a community centre, a kindergarten classroom, the Brigade 54 Adult Education Center and a tech classroom in Centro De Bachillerato Tecnológico Agropecuario (CBTA). With the help of district matching grants, donations from local businesses and some serious fundraising by the club and local volunteers, the Rotary Club has been able to make a real difference in the lives of the communities they serve.

Bill also started the Interact Club for students ages 12 to 18 so that more young people can be involved in these projects. He says the highlight for him is when he sees the way these kids are awakened to the potential of their own compassion and kindness as they come to understand the power of their actions to positively impact lives.

“It’s very rewarding to see that we really have made a difference,” says Bill. “Lives have been impacted and the idea that changed hearts can change the world is absolutely true.”

Bill’s story is an inspiring example of how one person can make a huge difference.

The kindness and generosity of volunteers like Bill are truly remarkable and have changed the lives of countless people. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing group of people who are willing to commit to such positive change, and we are so grateful for their dedication and hard work.

So here’s to our volunteers – thank you for all that you do!

Author: Gina Alward

Date: January 31st, 2023

Welcoming the Garcia Vasquez Family Home, From a Distance

Families receiving a fresh start is something that we always cherish, but when we heard that the Garcia Vasquez family was selected by the community to receive a house in 2020, we knew that it had the opportunity to be extra special!

Every two years, Andrea and her students from Seycove Secondary School join us to work alongside a special community in the Dominican Republic. In 2018, they helped three families receive a fresh start and this March, they were going to be bringing three more families into safe, dry homes.

Students have the chance to connect on “family visits”

Bringing people together from different backgrounds has the power to change the world.

On a Build, everyone has the chance to experience something we call “Family Visits”—where volunteers and local families are able to cook, clean, and communicate together with the help of one of our translators. It’s a special time that allows for connections to be made that can leave a lasting impact.

The last time Seycove students were with us back in 2018, heavy rains had recently hit the community days before Andrea and a handful of her students had the chance to visit with the Garcia Vasquez family for their Day in the Life experience.

It was clear to everyone who walked through the front door how vulnerable this family of three was too flooding. Visible water damage could be seen across the walls, several feet above ground level, and when the dad spoke, he talked about how they would have to leave the house swimming to get to higher ground.

The mother had a sight condition, which made life difficult and their 11-year-old daughter had grown up in these unsafe living conditions for her whole life.

In talking to one of the students about their experience, Maria summed up her feelings by saying that it made her want to come back and build another home.

Breaking the news

We rely on members of the community to play a lead role in selecting who will receive a home. But when the Garcia Vasquez family popped up on the list, we were excited because in March, more student volunteers from Seycove Secondary School would be returning with Andrea.

We knew that pairing the two of them together was possible and would be extra significant to everyone involved.

Coronavirus cancellations

During the first half of March, things changed rapidly across Canada.

As society began limiting gatherings, restrictions were put on travel, and physical distancing rules were put into effect, the trip was cancelled.

The students were disappointed that they wouldn’t be able to physically put in the work, but each of them were excited to hear that we’d be doing everything we could so that the families would receive their new homes.

Welcome home

Thankfully before restrictions were put in place on the island, local contractors and community members were able to come together and work alongside the family to build their house and welcome them home.

Although it’s not how we wanted the story to end, we still find an incredible amount of inspiration in the fact that Andrea and her students were able to make a difference and help the Garcia Vasquez family begin a new chapter of their lives, even from a distance.

While we’re not taking any new registrations right now, we’ll be working to bring families into safe homes as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.

Want to be the first to know when they open up? Tell us how to reach you and we’ll be in touch.

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: April 28th, 2020

10 Years of Friendship — Q&A with Bianca and Sarah

When you volunteer, the world becomes a better place and amazing friendships happen along the way.

As strangers who ended up in the same group, Bianca and Sarah have become lifelong friends. They bonded over hard work in the Dominican Republic and, although they have never lived in the same city, they’ve managed to grow closer over the years. This past summer, they celebrated their 10-year Friendaversary!

We asked them a few questions to learn about how it all started, what they do to stay connected, and how has their friendship made life better.

How did you get to know each other on the Build?

B: I’ve never found it challenging bonding with people on a Build. Everyone is incredibly friendly and working towards a common goal. It was a bit different with Sarah because she is absolutely hilarious. She would constantly crack sarcastic jokes throughout the day (something we definitely have in common) and then never shied away from sharing deep thoughts during daily debriefs. I remember shovelling and shovelling and shovelling. I’m forever grateful that this picture was captured because I feel like we spent hours bonding over manual labour…and challenging gender stereotypes.

S: I think we initially became friends because our height is less than average!

How have you managed to stay in touch over the years?

B: Thank goodness for social media! We continued to have discussions after our trip about what we experienced, our interests, and our desire to make the world a better place.

S: We have a running joke we only see each other every few years. After we met in 2009, Bianca and I hung out for a few hours in Peterborough almost four years later. Then we’ve had a quick brunch in Toronto, and have gone on a trip to Brazil together in 2014. As much as I’d love to see her more, I wouldn’t have it any other way! We casually joke about what country our next hangout will be in.

Bianca and Sarah during 80s night in July 2009. (Yes, we had 80s night back then, t00)

What are some significant milestones that you’ve celebrated together?

S: I knew I needed Bianca in my wedding party (mainly, so we could hang out again). She was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 2016, and I was a bridesmaid for her wedding in 2018!

B: I distinctly remember meeting someone at her wedding who said that she didn’t quite understand why I was a bridesmaid until she saw Sarah and I interact together. We have a unique bond and friendship like no other and I think that’s what I love most about our friendship—it’s unexplainable, and I am totally okay with that!

Sarah knew she wanted Bianca as a bridesmaid in her wedding.

How has this friendship made your life better?

B: She is such a unique friend, and I am so grateful to have her in my corner. I appreciate her constant care and support. I also really appreciate her outlook on life. Sarah has such an upbeat personality full of jokes and sass, but like many, she has experienced hardships. Through thick and thin Sarah always shines through positivity. Sarah makes me want to be a better person (actually, she does make me a better person).

S: I am so thankful for her friendship, the way she loves people SO well, her generosity, and how she has the drive to create change wherever she goes. Bianca inspires me on a daily basis to be better and help others wherever I go.

We see the beginnings of life-long friendships being formed on each Build. So if you can’t find someone to go with you, don’t worry. You’ll meet some pretty awesome people on the worksite.

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: February 6th, 2020

The Man with the Blue Hat

He didn’t always work with us as a contractor, his daughter didn’t always have a safe home to live in, and his hat wasn’t always blue.

It all started in December of 1996 when Nicolas crossed the border from Haiti with his family to settle in the community of Nuevo Renacer. He had learned to construct and smooth-coat houses back in Haiti and eventually found himself regularly employed as one of our local contractors. Unfortunately, even his construction skills weren’t enough to significantly help his oldest daughter out of unsafe living conditions. Riselena’s house, among other issues, had a leaky roof, which left her place damp and mouldy during rainy periods. When we told Nicolas that we were going to build a house for his daughter and that he was going to lead the construction, he was overjoyed.

During the Build, Nicolas shared stories and many laughs alongside his daughter and the students of Seycove Secondary as they worked together—all while wearing his signature beige, straw hat. Stylishly protected from the harsh sunlight, Nicolas led the team as the house came together, brick by brick.  

At this point during a Build, members from the community play a big part in getting ready for “dedication day” as they come together and help paint the house in the colour chosen by the family. For this special house, Riselena had chosen sky blue.

The paint was dry and the house was finished. As the community and students gathered together along the coast, the ocean breeze was blowing and clouds were scattered across the sky. It was a no hats required kind of day, but for Nicolas, this was definitely going to be part of the celebration. To everyone’s surprise, he had painted his hat sky blue to match the colour of his daughters new home and, standing along the shoreline with community members, volunteers, and his daughter, Nicolas sang out in joy and celebration of new beginnings.

Each and every house dedication is filled with emotion! We can’t help but wonder what it will look like when you are standing there, celebrating with a family that you’ve become close with as they receiving a fresh start and enter their home for the first time.

Start your journey to the celebration today.

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: May 1st, 2019

Fierce on the Worksite and on Camera — Q&A with Natalia

Natalia and her school worked really hard, making a big difference in the lives of a special community in the Dominican Republic.

Coming down with her school, the group knew that they were going to be building a house for a family as well as a much-needed medical clinic that would serve the nearby communities. What they didn’t know was that they’d be swept up in an end-of-day photoshoot on the worksite.

We know that kindness takes a bit of effort and can sometimes be a little messy, so along with photographer Chaydin Inverarity, we wanted to highlight this and surprised the group at the end of a long, tiring work day.

How did you first hear about us?

I heard about LiveDifferent Builds in my first year of high school. Gonzaga, my high school, does annual Builds with LiveDifferent.

Why did you want to join us as a volunteer in the Dominican Republic?

As soon as I saw the pictures and heard some of the stories from my peers and teachers who had come back from the trip, I immediately knew I wanted to participate as a volunteer.

What was the highlight from your Build?

There are so many great memories I have from that trip it’s hard to pick just one.

One of my fondest memories I have is when I met this sweet little boy named David. Every Build day, we took a lunch break at a nearby school/church that was down the road from the site. Dozens of kids would rush us to finish our lunch to come outside and play with them. Some of us even went to see the kids before we went to eat. Once I stepped onto the playground for the first time I was astounded. My fellow peers had all found a child to play with, everyone was smiling and laughing (it really was a sight to see). I vividly remember seeing a little boy off the side, not really engaging in any games or interacting with anyone. With the broken Spanish I had, I mustered up the courage to walk over to this little boy and ask what his name was and if he wanted to play. In a heartbeat, he climbed onto my back and we started running around with everyone else. The smile that grew on his face is something I hope to never forget.

Looking around that playground, I can honestly say I’ve never seen such an abundance of genuine laughter and smiles all in one place all at the same time.

Another memory I have was probably a few days into building on the site. In the middle of the site, I don’t exactly remember how or why but I paused and just looked around me and saw everyone working together. Everywhere I looked there were bucket lines, cement mixes, pickaxes and shovels being put into use to get the job done. Seeing everyone work together as a unit was so surreal. It then occurred to me that we were really doing it, the house and the clinic were slowly coming together; the walls being built to ensure a family’s safety, a roof to ensure that when it rained the family shouldn’t worry, rooms for the sick to come and wait to be treated. It became clear at that moment that it was really happening.

You were just crushing some of those cement mixes. How did you find the work?

I will be completely honest when I say that working on this Build was one of the most physically demanding things I’ve ever endured. The mixes were not easy, and if I needed to, I’d swap out to catch my breath. Nonetheless, I tried to get in on as many mixes or bucket lines as I could, which allowed me to get to know the construction workers pretty well since they spoke Creole and I could speak French.

After realizing you were in the middle of a surprise photo shoot, what did you think when you saw the final pictures and video?

I’m not really one for pictures, I’ll be honest. That being said, the surprise photo shoot and video really pushed me out of my comfort zone and caught me by surprise. The fact that I’m in Instagram posts, campaign posters and videos that are seen by so many people still baffles me. Every time one of my friends sees me on their feed, they’ll screenshot it and send it to me and be like, “look it’s you!”. I’m taken aback each time but it gives me an opportunity to reminisce, which I appreciate.

What did you take away from your experience on a LiveDifferent Build?

LiveDifferent’s saying “life is about people” proved to be true each and every day of that Build. While I got the chance to be part of something that gave a family a home and would benefit the health of the community, I am eternally grateful for everyone on that trip that gave me something that—while intangible—still serves as something for me to hang onto, to look back at and to remind me that there are still people in this world that genuinely want to do good. I am incredibly thankful for the community for opening up their hearts to us and making us a part of their story. When I find myself thinking back to those 8 days that would go on to change my life, my heart honestly just feels so full.

Interested in making a difference in the lives of others or want to learn more?

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: February 5th, 2019

Get on the Bus

When you have supportive friends who want to help make trips to Mexico more accessible for larger groups by hooking you up with a sweet charter bus… being floored with gratitude is probably a normal emotion, right?

A huge THANK YOU to our friends at Buckle Charters for helping us land a coach bus that we will be using to help shuttle volunteers down to Mexico and back. As a result, departing for a Build to Mexico from Western Canada has its perks. Here’s how it works…

How it works

We’re able to offer the charter bus service once a minimum donation is met. Not only can it reduce the fundraising required for travel by up to 70%, but we are also able to issue tax receipts which makes it easier to fundraise for.

For a group of 35 volunteers heading to Mexico, choosing to travel by our coach bus could save them up to $20,000 on transportation costs.

You can learn more about Buckle Charters by visiting their website here.

Interested in learning more about our Group Builds?

Learn More

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: November 26th, 2018

Julia and Diana Owned the Worksite

Julia owned it on the worksite, and now Diana’s family owns a home.

Being a mother in unsafe living conditions is hard.

As a mother of two children, one of Diana’s biggest fears was looking up at the sky and seeing dark clouds. When the rains would come, it would soak all of their possessions and cause a lot of heartache for her family. When she heard that she was going to receive a new home, her family was understandably overjoyed.

Julia came on a Build with other volunteers from her school.

While in the Dominican Republic, she had the privilege of working alongside Diana and her family to build them a new home. These two hit it off, and together they owned the worksite.

Diana and her family now have a safe place to call home.

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Interested in making a difference in the lives of others or want to learn more?

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: September 10th, 2018

Hope is Spreading Through the Island, in Memory of Eileen Jackson

In March of 2018, two families received safe, dry homes in the Dominican Republic and over 300 children were able to enjoy nutritious meals at our school in Haiti. It was all thanks to our dear friend Valerie Pippy (or “Val”, as we all call her) and as the impact of her efforts continues to ripple across the island, we wanted to reflect on how it all came to be.

Who is Val?

Back in 2016, Valerie jumped at the chance to spend 10 days with us in the Dominican Republic as part of an employer-sponsored Build through her company, T.E. Wealth.

Upon returning home, Val was motivated to do more and began organizing a Build for her family and friends to experience together. Sadly, her mother, Eileen Jackson, passed away during this time and as a result, the Build moved forward in her honour. Valerie continued organizing and fundraising creatively, using her upcoming retirement as a platform for raising support and donating money that her mother left for her.

The Result: Tangible Impact

These fundraising efforts and her team’s work on the ground have had a significant impact for many on the Island.

In the Dominican Republic, as a result of the Eileen Jackson Memorial Build, two families now have quality housing and are able to sleep each night with a solid roof over their heads. In addition, over 300 children at Ecole L’union in Haiti have been able to enjoy a nutritious meal each week for the entire school year.

You Too Can Get Involved

Over the years, a passionate and diverse group of people from all across Canada have gotten behind numerous projects that positively impact the lives of others. Some have saved portions of their paycheques in order to volunteer with us, while others have dedicated their birthdays (or in Val’s case, her retirement) to raising funds and awareness.

However each person’s journey unfolds, making a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of others often simply begins with saying “yes”. Who knows what ripples of change might be waiting for YOUR decision to LiveDifferent?

To read more, check out Peter Jackson’s article “Volunteers build hope in the Dominican“, published in The Independent. Oh… and Val’s already planning her next Build for 2019.

Author: Joshua Dueck

Date: August 8th, 2018