Consider the impact CCS would have with an additional 169 million hours of meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad. That’s how many paid time off hours were forfeited by Americans in 2013.
It doesn't take a certain kind of person to be able to ask for donations. Asking friends, family and acquaintances for donations can be a humbling experience. And by offering a contribution to your program fee, they become a part of the effort. It’s about more than simply making a donation but rather working towards a larger cause. Don't be nervous to ask - all they have to say is "no" if they'd rather not donate. Yet, you'll find that people really care.
Today was an extremely emotional day for me at the nursing home. Justin and I spent some time assisting residents at breakfast and then went directly to the laundry room to help out there. Our time didn’t last long there though as we were called outside to play games with the residents. We got our old dominoes pals together and played several games of dominoes.
In my final year at UC San Diego, I led a group of 14 fellow students on a volunteer program through Cross-Cultural Solutions in Cartago, Costa Rica. We were looking for an experience that would be memorable, and more than just a typical spring break. Safety and pre-departure support were also top priorities for us since we were students and even had a few first-time travelers in the group. And this is how I found Cross-Cultural Solutions.
If you've been considering a last minute volunteer adventure this holiday season, we've got just the experience for you! This Thanksgiving, why not combine a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer program with a chance to practice yoga with a professional instructor in Costa Rica?
In the summer of 2012, Kirkwood Community College sent our very first group of students overseas to volunteer with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Since then, we have sent students and faculty to Tanzania, Peru, and Costa Rica. And in 2014, I'll be leading my very first group of Cross-Cultural Solutions student volunteers on an immersive cultural experience in Ghana's Volta Region.
When I first signed up to volunteer abroad with Cross-Cultural Solutions, I knew that things were about to change for me, but I really had no idea just how much the experience would impact my life. I was thinking about the service, the adventure, the amazing photos that I would take. It hadn't even crossed my mind that I would be making friends that would last a lifetime. But that's just what happened.
My experience with Cross-Cultural Solutions began while I was attending Hartwick College in 2008. I had hit a roadblock that I'm sure you may have faced when you were a student, or perhaps you're not quite there yet, but we all tend to hit a moment in life where we just can't clearly see the road ahead. So I rather than a gap year, I decided to take a gap semester in Costa Rica in hopes that it would help me to determine my path forward.
Volunteering with Cross-Cultural Solutions is an incredibly effective way to take a step back and evaluate the path you've chosen. Whether you're interested in taking a career break abroad, you're a recent grad ready to experience the life of an international volunteer, or you're just trying to figure out your next big move, the CCS experience offers you an opportunity to shake things up, and change everything.
In honor of the 3 year anniversary (it's crazy how time flies!) of my Cross-Cultural Solutions volunteer experience in Costa Rica, I wanted to share an excerpt from the blog that I kept during my time in country, way back when. Enjoy!