The True Meaning of the Power of Giving by Juanita Collins

Today is our last day on the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic. To be completely honest, I don’t want this trip to end. It has been a definite life changing experience. Before coming here, I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that I was in a foundation that was going to help me help others through laying cement in homes. I was expecting to be touched by the people that we worked with, but no… I am completely changed. Today when we went to the homes, we came across alot of hardship. We weren’t able to get water for the cement, and we had to split up to finish more houses. It was a real struggle to get water because it wasn’t working. And even when it did start working, it took about 5-10 minutes to fill up one bucket! The water was so slow coming out of the hose. Plus, their water isn’t even drinkable. It made me think about how in America we’re just able to go to the fridge and grab some water. Or, just go to the sink or to the store and have easy access to fresh, running water. It was a definite eye-opener. But, we all worked together in our chain to pass the water buckets down into the big container in the truck. Once that was filled, we drove it back up and were able to mix the cement. But, the funniest thing that happened today was when Irene fell down the hill! You should’ve seen her butt! Hahaha! She just rolled down the hill, and sat at the bottom and laughed! She said that her chair broke, but whoever doesn’t read this blog.. we’ll tell them a different story just for her sake 🙂 And, I’m pretty sure everyone got a picture of her dirty behind! Hahaha! Anyway, we were able to finish the home, and put in some help (even though they pushed away at first, cause we were too slow)! Later on, I started to pick up trash. It was Irene, Arianna, Grace, Romo, and me with the little kids. They helped us pick up la basura, and I really did appreciate it. Last night at dinner, Scarlet shared with us that it’s just the Dominican nature to help. That information touched me, because how much better would the world be if that was just HUMAN nature? Anyway, I played volleyball with the kids, and we took pictures, and they even invited me to swim with them! I took pictures with their bunnies, and we just laughed and took videos while picking up trash. It was the best! I even gave my gift to a girl that I met today. I saw her blue flower and shoes, and decided that my bracelet matched them! So we were talking, and I took her arm and put it on her. She smiled, and took out her flower and stuck it in my hair. I will never forget that moment. But, we then finished what needed to be done, and I walked into the bus after my goodbyes, and almost started crying. We were here to help these people, but they definitely helped me. They showed me the true meaning of our motto, “The Power of Giving”. It’s not about receiving something in return, but about sharing what you have; whether it’s a hand, or a dance, or a joke, or a song. I was here to give a helping hand to lay cement and to give school supplies, but what they gave to me was more valuable. What they gave to me was not physical, not something that will fade or break or die. They gave me fellowship, culture, the lesson of selflessness, and they taught me to truly appreciate what I have. These are the lessons that I will take home with me and hold for the rest of my life. I am very thankful that I was able to be on this trip, and I will never forget our team! Next to “Who are me?!” , the message of this foundation will continue on, and I am thankful to have found its true meaning, “The Power of Giving”.


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