Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When It's Time To Follow A Dream - Short Time To Act On Amber's Behalf

This is my friend Amber. She has a dream of traveling abroad. So what, you say? Everyone wants to travel. Yes, but not in the way Amber dreams of traveling.

She doesn't want to lie on the beach in Cancun or sip ouzo on a hillside in Greece. Amber wants to make a difference, to impact the lives of the community she visits in a positive way. She desires to be immersed in the culture and be part of the lives of the people there if only for a short time.
Amber wants to contribute and give back. This is why I admire her.

Recently, through happenstance (but is there really such a thing), Amber learned about a program called Cross Cultural Solutions. Founded in 1995, CCS is a recognized leader in the field of International Volunteering. By partnering with CCS, Amber will go to Costa Rica for one week this summer. CCS will place her in the appropriate volunteer program that fits her talents. Amber hopes it will be to work with children.

I expect she will have an experience much like that of Sandra Flannagan. Sandra spent a month as a teaching assistant at Escuela Puente Casa, a school for disadvantaged children in Costa Rica. She helped in the classroom and played with the children at recess. Sandra says that spending time with the children at school while they were happy and smiling made it easy to forget that they live in abject poverty on a hillside littered in broken glass. They are refugees from the Nicaraguan civil war. The houses they live in are made of discarded cardboard, aluminum, and tin.

I expect that Amber, too, will be fighting back tears when her time in Costa Rica is over. My friend will have cherished memories of the pain she helped to ease and the bit of happiness she gave to someone in need. I know her well enough to understand that not only will she make a significant impact on this journey but she will take away great joy for her efforts.

Now, Amber is asking for help to cover the program fees for her trip. It's a significant amount but completely doable. Because I believe in her and in her dream, I'm asking that my readers take a look at the information and consider donating to her fund. After my donation she will have $1,310.00 left to raise before July 8th.

Even though I have been lax about posting lately, somehow this blog still gets 100 hits per day. If everyone who sees this blog today pledged just $10.00 to Amber's cause, she would have most of her funds covered.

Also, any of my buddies with blogs who wish to repost this article in part or in whole, you have my permission and thanks for helping Amber with her cause. Wouldn't it be incredible if her story went viral and her fees were completely covered by kindness from around the world!

After her trip, I'm going to ask Amber to guest post on LifePrints so she can share with you the joy that WE helped to make possible. If you can help, please do. Amber and I will be very grateful. This is the reason I created LifePrints, to spotlight people stepping up in this world. Because of it, I have a chance to spread the word and help someone I know well...and that is no happenstance.

4 comments:

Charlotte said...

http://www.wspa-usa.org/pages/2630_compassionate_travel.cfm

She can volunteer for free and help animals at the same time! Also free luggage tags. Charlotte

Lisa McGlaun said...

Charlotte,

Thanks for the comment. I had trouble getting the link to work.

I think you were highlighting the WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) which does not specifically run a program like Amber is involved in. WSPA provides links to the organizations that coordinate the volunteer time.

Yes, some are free but most have fees in line with the $1795 that CCS requires. When the program is free then all travel and accomodations are on the volunteer to organize and secure.

CCS offers the option to ask for donations from friends and family to help the volunteer defray the cost. I assume that someone planning their own volunteer trip could do the same.

WSPA is a great organization and the links they provide for volunteer opportunties are extensive. Thanks for letting me know about it. Here is the link:

http://www.wspa-usa.org/pages/2634_volunteer_abroad.cfm

Thanks for commenting,
Lisa

Air Conditioning Brea, CA said...

What an amazing thing to do! Good for her!

<3 Lindsay

Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks Lindsey. I hope all goes well for Amber, too. I'm looking forward to hearing about her trip when she returns.

Lisa