Reflections from Colleen Shannon, who volunteered with her daughter, Lauren, and two grandsons, Max and Darwin in Crete, Greece:
Our family volunteer experience in Crete last month was one of the highlights of my life. Not only was it personally fulfilling, but watching my daughter and grandsons interact with the children, other volunteers and our hosts was deeply moving. We all benefited from the experience as much or more than what we gave to the children we taught. I will never again be satisfied in “just traveling” as educational and delightful as that is. Serving others and being a part of a host community adds a richness to the cultural experience that cannot be duplicated in another kind of vacation or tour.
In providing this experience for my grandsons, I feel I gave them the gift of a lifetime, enhancing their personal growth as they developed a broader and deeper worldview, recognized that they have gifts to share and discovered a desire to learn from and serve others.
And one more thing, Sam, the Greece Country Manager, was an exceptional coach, guide and friend. We learned from her and felt supported and appreciated by her. What a gift to the program she is and what a delightful family she has.
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