Still unsure if this is for you? To gain some insight into the Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trip experience some of our past participants would like to tell you about their experience.
Melissa Seaton - Tanzania 2016 My week at the Amani Center for Street Children was unbelievable. These are the sweetest, kindest, most talented kids I've ever met. They look out for each other, they take care of each other, they are strong and smart and have overcome so much. Each one has a horrifying story. They've all lived on the streets, having been mistreated, abused, and abandoned for much of their lives. But their smiles and laughs taught me something about the human spirit and our capacity to heal and love and hope. We spent our time reading with them, face painting, helping to prepare meals, harvesting food from their garden, and doing small projects around the orphanage like painting and cleaning. I gained so much from this experience and it has undoubtedly been one of the best trips of my life.
Kyle Jacoby - Tanzania 2016 I've been on a lot of service trips, but this was by far my favorite. I've never seen an organization better run than Amani. Kids who have experienced abuse their whole lives, were so happy, well behaved and talented. You would have never known of their rough past. Spending just 5 days with them has inspired me to try and help more underprivileged kids because I saw what a huge difference it can make. The activities outside the trip were also unbelievable. From being up close to nearly every animal imaginable on the safari, to hanging out on the beach in Zanzibar, I will remember every part of this amazing trip. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I definitely want to go on more international give back trips in the future!
What Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trips have you been on?I've traveled to New Orleans in 2012 and 2014 with Give Back Beyond.
Why service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Give Back Beyond Cincinnati offered, in my opinion, a once in a lifetime deal to do good work in a place I have always wanted to travel to for a fraction of the price I would have spent going on my own. Plus, I would be traveling with a host of like-minded individuals all with the same goal.
What is your best memory?My best memory is the dinner served at the Blue Angel. I have never felt so appreciated and welcomed as the members of the Blue Angel Bar made me that first year. The way the community that we are there to help provide back for us with their overwhelming hospitality.
How has service travel shaped your view of community service?I never thought of using vacation time to do volunteer work until this opportunity. It proved to me that there is still a large need all over the world for individuals to support those with more need. I learned I can offer some of resources and still have what I would call a vacation. I can make the world a better place and still get away from the daily grind.
What have you learned through service travel?Aside from what I listed above, I also learned how to work with individuals of varying skill levels both from a leadership position and as an individual contributor. It is a whole different experience to work with individuals in a guilt-free environment. I also learned I can push my physical limits to beyond what I once thought was my limit.
Would you recommend service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Absolutely. As long as I live in the Tri-State area, this is the only way to go.
What Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trips have you been on?I've been on a few trips with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati; New Orleans: 2006 - 2008, 2010 - 2011, 2013 - 2014, Guatemala: 2011, Romania: 2012, Ghana: 2013, and Nepal: 2014.
Why service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Give Back Beyond Cincinnati provides an avenue to provide services to those in need in cities or countries where (unfortunately) poverty living conditions can exist in very large quantities. Being able to serve people to help them get established housing is a unique opportunity I am very happy and thankful to be able to do. Also, Give Back Beyond Cincinnati provides the ability to meet great, like-minded people in the local area where you can “unplug” for a week and enjoy giving back together as a team!
What is your best memory?I have been fortunate to have numerous memories through Give Back Beyond Cincinnati. One that comes to mind is on my first international trip in Guatemala. Literally the entire village of people where we were building a house at came out and formed a 200 – 300 yard line on both sides of our van to clap for us as we left that week. If that picture is not beside the word “appreciation” in the dictionary, I don’t know what is.
How has service travel shaped your view of community service?I am very fortunate to be able to live in the US, every day here is a vacation!
What have you learned through service travel?Going with a funny one here a bit, Beyond Europe and the US, not all countries have the liberty to flush their toilet paper down the toilet. Note, point 4 above...every day in the US is a vacation!
Would you recommend service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Absolutely, if you are able to gather the finances to participate, you may be doing yourself a disservice not giving this group a shot. I attempt to make it a point to try and attend at minimum one GBBC trip a year because it helps others and provides a perspective reset on an outlook on life that serves me very well.
What Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trips have you been on?I've traveled to Trishuli, Nepal in 2014 with Give Back Beyond.
Why service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?I've always wanted to travel and volunteer abroad, so Give Back Beyond Cincinnati was perfect. I volunteered with Give Back Cincinnati a couple times before so I was confident that the Give Back Beyond Cincinnati trip would be a good one – fun, organized, and worthwhile.
What is your best memory?After nearly a week in Nepal, we learned that drivers communicate by honking. “Move faster!” = Honk! “I’m coming around the corner!” = Honk! Honk! Honk! Our group was traveling from Trishuli (volunteer site) back to Kathmandu. A packed bus kept tailgating us. We were going downhill on a narrow lane near the edge of a cliff and it just seemed too dangerous for the bus to pass us. But no, the bus honked and drove around us. As the bus drove further up, we saw a goat tied to the top of the bus! We all busted up laughing and then felt bad for the poor goat. It was ridiculous.
How has service travel shaped your view of community service?Community service is awesome. It’s even better through service travel because you get to volunteer side-by-side with community members. You learn how they do things and you experience their challenges. Community service abroad is rewarding and humbling. The guys in Trishuli taught us how to build a house the Nepali way. Our group of ten served as a concrete mixer and took turns shoveling water, sand, and rocks to make concrete. We formed the “ladies line” (i.e., human conveyor belt) to move concrete and cinder blocks. Nepali people are very resourceful.
What have you learned through service travel?Service travel, especially abroad, challenges you to step out of your comfort zone.
Would you recommend service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Yes! Rather than EAT, PRAY, LOVE, a service trip with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati is EAT, PLAY, LAUGH.
What Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trips have you been on?I've traveled to New Orleans in 2013 and 2014 as well as Nepal in 2014 with Give Back Beyond.
Why service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Service trips were a part of my life through college, and I was looking for a way to continue something I enjoyed. Give Back Beyond Cincinnati gave me an opportunity to travel with a group of service-minded people. While I've met people from outside of Cincinnati who have gone on Give Back Beyond Cincinnati service trips, unlike other groups, since many participants have ties to Cincinnati, it’s been great to continue friendships started on the service trips.
What is your best memory?Working with the Fuller Global Builders in Nepal is my most memorable service travel experience. Our build site was very primitive, and we spent most days mixing and moving concrete by hand; there were livestock walking through our work site. Aside from seeing real progress on the build site, we were surrounded by the gorgeous Himalayan foothills and able to build relationships with native people who really helped us learn more about local life and culture.
How has service travel shaped your view of community service?Community service can happen anywhere! It’s helped me seek out opportunities to volunteer while traveling-for work or pleasure-as a way to support the community I’m in at the time and also meet interesting people.
What have you learned through service travel?Getting out of my comfort zone and doing physical labor seems to make me more aware of the needs in my own backyard. Service travel has helped me to explore destinations I might not otherwise visit and, along the way, have the chance to give back and make friends.
Would you recommend service travel with Give Back Beyond Cincinnati?Absolutely! I signed up to go on my first service trip by myself, I didn’t know anyone, and had no idea what to expect. It was a great experience with a group of people that welcomed everyone.