An Inspiring Couple Volunteers 8 times Together!
Global Volunteers salutes Jim and Carolyn Brueggemann. Jim, a retired physician, and Carolyn, a retired teacher, have served together on 8 Global Volunteers service and people to people programs since 2003. Their first service program was in Mexico, and then came Romania, Peru, Ecuador, China, Costa Rica, Cuba and St. Lucia. It’s obvious Jim and Carolyn love children. They just love them, and children love them back! Team leaders love Jim and Carolyn, their teammates love Jim and Carolyn, the local people love Jim and Carolyn… Everybody loves Jim and Carolyn!
“When people ask, “Why do you volunteer instead of just travel?” I say it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know the people in various countries. We have learned so much through our volunteering and had experiences we would not have had as tourists. If there were interesting places near the volunteer sites like Machu Picchu in Peru or the Galapagos offshore from Ecuador, we would visit them after our volunteer weeks were complete.
Some highlights of our 8 volunteer projects include:
- In the Romanian orphanage, getting 18 month old Sari to jump up and down for the first time in her life. She had the biggest smile on her face.
- Talking personally with the women elementary school English teachers in China about women’s rights, how it is to vote for the President of the United States, and celebrating Christmas with them. It was December 25th.
- In Costa Rica, watching Spanish speaking Costa Rican children and English speaking American children play ball together, laughing, and enjoying each other. Language and culture presented no barriers.
Global Volunteers has given my husband, Jim, and me a perfect opportunity to know that the world is a universe of people with similar needs, wishes and desires. We have had opportunities to fulfill many of our own needs and desires; others are in need of help. When I first started as a Global Volunteer I thought, “What difference can I make in two or three weeks?” But when I realized that other volunteers will come after me and continue the work, it made sense to me. Global Volunteers does make a difference.”
Warren Williams, Global Volunteers Team Leader, notes on Jim and Carolyn’s service in St. Lucia:
Jim, Warren noted that it was fabulous having you and Carolyn on the team. Principal Flavian Isembert was appreciative of your service at the Primary School. The way you tutored the students who need so much help was truly inspiring. Your calm approach was something most of these students have never experienced. Warren also noted that your excellent journalistic skills produced some of the best reports Warren has ever read!
Carolyn, Warren said that your service in Anse La Raye was “as good as it gets”. You were such a comfort to the children of the Kid Step Preschool. The children gravitated to you with your warmth and caring attitude, and the staff of the preschool appreciated what you did for them. You also were a help to Warren with tasks that needed to be done within the team. Both you and Jim provided a strong, quiet presence in the service program. You are a great Global Volunteers couple!
Jim and Carolyn, thank you for sharing your love, your smiles, your knowledge and your skills to the children you have served. Yes, Global Volunteers does make a difference because our volunteers like YOU make the difference! Thank you so much!