- $300 deposit (non-refundable) due Wednesday, June 15th, 2016.
- $1,995 (non-refundable) due no later than Friday, September 30, 2016.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada’s leadership of this effort is revenue negative. We receive no funding, yet are proud to expend energy in the coordination of this meaningful initiative.
Are There Additional Costs?
Some participants may require additional travel days to get to/from Toronto for the confirmed Puerto Plata flights. An overnight stay in Toronto may be required between connecting flights. If so, the cost is the sole responsibility of the participant. Group rate hotel accommodations in Toronto / local parking, is available to team members.
We also recommend that participants visit their family physician or local travel clinic a minimum of 3 months prior to the departure date. The costs associated with the doctor/travel clinic visit(s), along with any subsequent vaccinations or prescriptions, are the responsibility of the participant.
Excursions, off-resort meals, entertainment, gratuities, and any shopping in the Dominican Republic are the participant's responsibility.
Participants wanting single occupancy rooms at Sosua by the Sea in the Dominican Republic will be charged an additional fee of $300 per person. This additional fee is due to Live Different no later than Friday, September 30, 2016.
Will There Be Leisure Time?
Yes. In addition to having some evenings free, there will be one full day off to relax on the beach or to participate in an optional excursion.
Safety is always our first concern!
Live Different has been taking groups of volunteers to the Dominican Republic for over 10 years without incident, and in post-trip surveys, volunteers overwhelmingly report that they felt safe at all times while on the trip.
Live Different takes safety very seriously, and has built a number of unique on-site safeguards, including accommodations in a closed and highly secure resort, specially selected and dedicated ground transportation, tight safety on the work site itself, and also, all individuals under 19 are arm-banded to preclude their access to alcohol. Most participants share double-occupancy rooms. Strict rules are enforced, and on rare occasions, individuals have been sent home.
In August 2013, Joel Porter, Vice President of Development for BBBSC, inspected the operations in person, and in November 2013, Karen Shaver, Vice President of Agency Services for BBBSC, interviewed the senior staff on all aspects of safety protocol, policies and procedures, and found them to be appropriate with the level of risk participants might experience.
Do I Need To Have Any Special Skills To Participate?
No construction or special skills are needed to participate in this initiative. A strong will, motivation, determination and a kind heart are all far more important assets. You will provide much-needed labour, including carrying concrete blocks, mixing mortar, painting, etc, while the skilled work will be completed by local contractors.
What Supplies Will I Need To Bring With Me?
Live Different will provide all the building supplies but participants should bring their own work gloves (2 pairs), proper close-toed and heeled footwear (such as work boots or running shoes), a hat, and water bottle. A specific packing list will be provided approximately 2 weeks before the departure date.
We know that children and youth learn about giving by seeing it in action. A passion for volunteering is a learned behaviour, and must be witnessed. However, the character development and change of perspective that comes from giving of one's time and resources can only ever come from direct experience.
We also know that through the experience of giving, our self-esteem is impacted dramatically in a positive way. Nobody is so poor that they cannot be a giving person, and so the upward cycle of self-worth begins. When we give of ourselves, we experience the value of our generosity, we feel the appreciation, and see the impact. We see that we each have value, no matter what, and a great side-effect of it all is that we feel terrific! And so the cycle repeats, and self-worth thrives. Ambition is fueled. Barriers begin to fall. Possibilities are revealed. Success is assured!
Through their experience of this cycle on a Live Different trip, youth “activate.” This first-hand experience is intensive and radical, and often has the effect of causing a permanent shift in the values of those who go through it. All youth return to Canada with very changed perspectives on what’s important, about their own place in the world, and about their own power and ability to effect positive, even dramatic change. This worldview change causes them to become compassionate givers and supporters of social justice causes – forever. Youth respond to this experience by wanting the positive results of giving and volunteering to continue, so they give back to their own communities and become local leaders. They take initiative, change their priorities and perspectives on many things, and begin to live out Live Different's motto: “Life is about people, not stuff.”
One of the most vital outcomes of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring is that our Littles grow up to do more, earn more, give more, volunteer more, and lead more. By participating with Live Different we are showing now, not later, that these outcomes are both real and true.
While this is a symbolic demonstration of one of our most vital outcomes from the mentoring of children, the effects on the ground are very real, and no participant comes away from this experience anything other than being changed for the better – forever.
How Can I Learn More About This Initiative and Where Do I Sign Up?
Please visit the Live Different website (http://www.livedifferent.com/) to learn more about the organization and their Builds program. Call 1-866-432-4464 Toll Free or email Diane Ciarallo, Programs/Office Administrator from Live Different, at livedifferent.com for more information or click here to Register Now! Once you click the link, simply type in 'dominican' to login and access the page, and the registration steps.