We spent our weekend volunteering locally – and it felt so good!
Here at Unearth the World, we are constantly asking ourselves about the impact our organization has on both the international communities we serve and the volunteer traveler. (For our attempt at answers, see here.) But we are just as interested in what happens after people participate in an Unearth the World program. Do they continue with life as usual or make changes?
We are proud to say that – with the help of Unearth the World’s post-trip coaching program – our volunteers multiply their impact by continuing to engage in some way long after their program has finished. Unearth the World alums have started their own nonprofits, stayed connected to the international community and become more civically engaged in their own neighborhoods.
This past Saturday, Unearth the World hosted our first local volunteering opportunity on the south side of Chicago. We gathered a small group of socially minded Chicagoans to work and learn alongside Steve Hughes – the dynamic founder of OTIS Fresh Farm. OTIS Fresh Farm is a community garden focused on providing affordable access to healthy food to underserved communities under a variety of efforts: health education, food growth, community buildings, and economic development. The day was short but provided a great taste of what an Unearth the World experience can be: learning, service and building friendships.
Needless to say, we had an absolute ball! Under sunny skies and alongside other global citizens, we learned about the valiant mission of OTIS Fresh Farms while getting our hands dirty. We assisted in planting, transplanted seedlings, and contributed to the farm’s evolving layout under the guidance of long-term volunteers. Both Unearth the World and OTIS viewed the day as such a success that we have already planned a second outing on the morning of August 1 (DETAILS HERE!!!).
It was incredible to truly see Unearth the World’s mission in action this weekend. We cannot wait to plan more local service and continue to support our international volunteers to engage in their own communities.