We asked WorldVentures Foundation volunteers for stories and experiences and this was Colleen’s response:
n the past four years, the WorldVentures Foundation has given me the platform to fulfill a small dream. Being of service to others is something I have always wanted to do but I had no idea how to start. I had the notion that I needed to “make it big in life” first before I could give back. I think subconsciously, giving back started with the simple tradition of passing “hand me downs” to younger children. Once that was done, we gathered and accumulated to give to someone with lesser privileges than we had. This simple task awakened a feeling of gratitude in me. When you see the impact a simple pair of shoes or a warm sweater can have on another child’s life, and when you see the look on their face when you hand it to them.
The Foundation has allowed us to consciously give back and to realize that we can do this often. It creates a necessary dialogue that can lead to building communities, and ultimately that’s what builds nations. In South Africa, we have a term called “Ubuntu,” which simply means “humanity” and is often translated as “I am because we are.” Simply speaking, it’s really about the universal bond of sharing that connects all communities.
My best moments volunteering with the foundation leave me with feelings of an awakened sense of immense gratitude. I’m grateful for the simple things that surround me. We grew up with very little, or so I thought until I took stock of what I had: a warm bed, growing up in a family that cared for me, a pair of shoes, a substantial meal three times a day. Many people in our community are denied these privileges as we speak. Our Foundation events have motivated me to be more actively involved in my community on a regular basis, rather than just waiting for the next Foundation event. Every month our team and families initiate different ways of giving back. In August and September, we honored women in our communities as we celebrated International Woman’s Month in August, by taking to the streets to hand out care packages put together for homeless women. While doing so, we also handed out food packages for them to take “home” to their families.
My greatest moment was when I discovered the Foundation. Through this platform it has opened the door for me to do much more. When people choose to give, they unite from different sectors and communities in the name of a common cause. This is a key contributing factor in strengthening communities and nation-building. I thank the Foundation for this platform. We make a difference every day around the world and because of that, I have the choice to be a better person within my community every single day.