Kicking off the Build
Today is the day our WestJetters have been waiting for. From the moment they were selected to go, completed their fund-raising and finally stepped off the plane in the Dominican Republic, our team has been waiting for a chance to get their hands dirty building new homes. “I just want to get in there and make it happen,” said Kerry from YHZ on the bus ride from our resort.
If you’ve ever kicked an ant’s nest, you would have a great idea of what it looked like to see our WestJetters, contractors, translators and locals working together to get the job done. To our surprise, our energy was matched by the children in the community. “The kids were so quick to jump in and help,” noted Donna, YHZ. “They were grabbing shovels and trying to help in any way they could.”
During our busy morning, the walls of the homes kept getting higher and higher. Each team was kept safe under the watchful eyes of our local contractors. LiveDifferent always uses local workers and suppliers to help support the economy and the communities they work in. This employment has helped many others improve their lives and the communities they live in.
In the afternoon, we started preparation for laying the floors of the homes. This work meant dozens of long runs with the wheel barrels through the streets of Auga Negra. The children were always quick to offer to take the load for you or at least help filling it up.
That night we had a great debrief session with Nettie from LiveDifferent. A large part of the session was dedicated to learning about the impact that poverty has on the lives of those in the community. The team at LiveDifferent has done a great job of culturally educating us as well as supporting the build. They are the real deal!
We learned today that one of our Dominican Republic families has three children that have never attended school. Nettie announced that due to the amazing fund-raising efforts of our WestJetters across the country, they will be able to ensure that these children will get to go to school. We’ll be able to leave them with a roof over their heads, supplies, food and a chance at a brighter future. If you bought a raffle ticket, cookie at a back sale, taco-in-a-bag or any other donation for the Hero Holiday trip, please know that three children will have a better future because of it.
On behalf of the entire team I want to thank everyone for their words of encouragement. We read them every night at our sessions and it makes everyone smile to hear you care about the work they are doing.
By Corey Evans
*The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of LiveDifferent.