“Our week at camp was an incredible experience for me and my children, ages 15 and 12. We saw each other as teachers, students, adventurers, and resilient volunteers instead of just parents and teenagers. We also had a safe environment to immerse ourselves in the beautiful, rich culture of the Dominican Republic, and we experienced a much different lifestyle than we have back home.” -Lisa Asseling; Outreach360 Family Vacation Volunteer.
Family volunteering is a unique opportunity that will bring your family closer together while serving a common cause. An Outreach360 family volunteer trip is an inclusive way to introduce your family to a foreign culture. Volunteering abroad with Outreach360 is safe for family members of all ages, including young children, young adults, parents, and grandparents. During your trip in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, you and your family members will serve real needs and together you will make a difference in underserved students’ lives.
But wait, there’s more.
Family volunteering with Outreach360 will expose your family to international service providing your loved ones with global connections that will empower and inspire. All the while, bringing your family closer together! Here are 10 reasons why you should consider going on an Outreach360 family volunteer vacation:
1. Your Family's Safety is our #1 Priority
We know that traveling abroad can raise some concerns, but please know that Outreach360 considers all of our volunteers to be members of OUR service family. We keep our family safe and out of harm’s way during their stay in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, just as you would keep your family safe at or away from home. Here’s the deal: Outreach360 family volunteer vacation safety is our top priority. We manage our own facilities and have full-time international and local staff leading our volunteers in each country. The local staff lives and works full-time in-country, and they facilitate the volunteer experience. Working with people who live in the country where you are serving is key to ensuring your safety – they know the country, the community, and the neighborhood where you will be volunteering. Outreach360 also orientates all of our volunteers on basic health, safety, and respectful living guidelines that ensure family volunteer safety and ultimately to ensure that you have the best volunteer experience imaginable.
2. Gain Cultural Insights
Although you and your family will focus on providing educational opportunities for kids, together you will gain knowledge about a different culture. It’s a common sentiment amongst Outreach360 volunteers that they leave their experience feeling they have gained as much as they have given. Here is what Anna Boyd, a former Outreach360 volunteer from Saint Stephen's Episcopal School, had to say about her experience: “I have volunteered with Outreach360 4 times, and each time I feel like I learn something new. I always leave feeling as is I have received from the kids even more than I gave to them.” This cultural exchange of knowledge is what our organization strives for. The Outreach360 family volunteer vacation will benefit your family by teaching you about a new culture in the Dominican Republic and in Nicaragua.
3. Instill a Mentality of Service in your Family
According to a study from the Public Library of Science Journal, three psychologists at the University of British Columbia found that children receive psychological benefits from giving, much like their parents do. Why does this matter? The study infers that beginning service at a young age will instill happiness, and as a result of that happiness, it will also instill a family mentality of giving back. Outreach360 family volunteers are giving back in a sustainable way through education. Sharing knowledge will provide our students with a life of choice. In addition, this exchange of knowledge will inspire your family to live a life of service.
4. Less Planning Means Less Worrying
Outreach360 gets it. International travel logistics can be a nightmare. When you choose to participate in an Outreach360 family volunteer vacation, you will not have to worry about in-country logistics. We will handle your travel transportation to and from the airport, provide you with comfortable housing, and three home-cooked meals per day. Outreach360 exists to make your volunteering abroad experience easy – it’s a turn-key approach to international service. Our staff is highly trained to accommodate all needs that your family might have, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy volunteering in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
5. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
With Outreach360, parents teach alongside their children to educate underserved students in Latin American communities. Family members will create lesson plans together, teach together, and learn together in the classroom. This environment creates a team mentality while serving. In order to reach your family’s volunteering goals, you will work as a team and support each other throughout the process. Working as a team will further encourage quality family time allowing you and your family to bond over service. You’ll discover brand-new, positive qualities about your loved ones that you never knew before.
6. Family Fun
Volunteering with Outreach360 means endless family fun. Your family will have the opportunity to explore a city abroad, climb mountains, and make a difference in dozens of students’ lives. Although you’ll have several chances to participate in the local culture, you will be surprised to find that teaching will be the highlight of your week. Outreach360 students are thrilled to share powerful intercultural experiences with volunteers of all ages.
7. Bring it Home
After your family volunteer vacation with Outreach360, your family will want to continue making an impact in your local community and internationally. Outreach360 hopes to inspire families to continue to serve. Whether that is by returning to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua or volunteering at home, Outreach360 aspires to create a community of global families who are committed to making a difference and giving back.
8. Inspire Others
Imagine the impact we could have if all families took one week out of their busy schedules to serve. It would cause a ripple effect of transformation! By volunteering abroad with your family, you’re likely to inspire other families around you to do the same. Avery Kit, age 8, said this after volunteering with her family: “I missed my best friend’s birthday to be here, but I am going to tell her all about being here and she is going to know why I missed her birthday. Because she knows it’s important to help people.” Simply sharing your Outreach360 story, like Avery, can empower other families to volunteer. Eventually, this will lead to a family volunteer community that is enthusiastic about direct service and positive change.
9. Empower Your Family to Empower Other
Each member of your family has different skills and talents that make them extraordinary. Outreach360 aims to allow individuals to use their skills and talents to empower students in the local community. When you volunteer as a family, you will share each others’ strengths in order to make lessons more engaging for Outreach360 students. Shawndell Hand, a former Outreach360 Family volunteer, said, “The experience will definitely have a lasting impact on how our family functions. I believe, in addition to having a much greater spirit of gratitude for our blessings, we all see one another in a new way. We each gained a better understanding of what we carry in our hearts; we have more pride about the caring and loving sides of each family member; and I forever hold the memories of watching the kind, gentle, and loving spirits that my husband and children shared with these extraordinary children of Jinotega.” Empowering your loved ones will, in turn, empower others, including Outreach360 students, staff, and local community members. This process will motivate Outreach360 students to develop their own passions and to share them with the world, making their dreams a reality.
10. Become Global Citizens
Exposing your family to service abroad will initiate your family into the emerging world of global citizenship. With these experiences, your family will become more conscientious of the needs of the international community. Service will take on a new meaning and open doors for new beginnings for your family. An Outreach360 family volunteer vacation will cause your family to continue learning about issues around the world, and become powerful advocates for action and change.
For information on Outreach360's virtual internships, please visit www.outreach360.org/virtualimpact.