The Scotia Bank in Greenwood recently contributed $5,000 toward a unique trip 15 West Kings High School students are taking during March break.
They call themselves the D.R. Dream Team. A group of 15 West Kings High School students and five adults are going to take March break to build a house in the Dominican Republic for a needy family.
Teacher Chris Lugar, who made the same journey last March, is excited to share the experience with his students.
“We arrived at the village and the old house was cleared away. There were the bricks and mortar and kids and chickens. It was amazing,” he recalls about his last experience.
He says it opened his eyes to the need and allowed him to meet some wonderful people. The house he helped construct became home to a grandmother who is raising her grandchildren.
The group began fundraising last summer towards covering the costs of $1,500 per person to participate in the trip with a car wash, bake sales and a dinner. Early in December, the Bank of Nova Scotia contributed $5,000.
“We had two students drop out because they were having trouble fundraising,” Lugar said. “That donation by the bank took a lot of the worry away for the others.”
The West Kings group is aligned with the Servant’s Heart Ministries. They plan to build a house for a needy family and work with the children in the Servant’s Heart Ministries’ school in Cangrejo, near Puerta Plata.
Parent Ingrid de Pauw had the additional notion of having a number of the youth using their volunteer time toward the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program. Several are trying to learn some Spanish before they go.
Lugar says they have been trying to collect additional funds to help outfit the kitchen of the house they’ll work on constructing out of cinder blocks.
Servant’s Heart Ministries, which is based in Bridgewater, is a registered Canadian charity started by Donna and Phil Williams. The base for the organization’s work, which began in 2005, is in Sosua, Dominican Republic.
Lugar finds the Williams’ story moving because,
after their first trip outside Canada to the Dominican Republic, they were so moved by the experience that they relocated there six months later.
Servant’s Heart works in three avenues: they build and repair houses for those in extreme need, offer medical assistance through clinics and provide educational opportunities for children.