Barbara Scafidi values the importance of helping others and makes it a top priority in not only her life, but her children’s lives as well. Olivia Scafidi (daughter, 13 years old), Alex Scafidi (daughter, 12 years old), and Jack Scafidi (son, 8 years old) have volunteered on FOUR family service programs worldwide with their parents: Cook Islands, Poland, Ecuador, and the most recent, Romania. We asked the Scafidi family about their shared volunteer journey to learn more about why they embarked on these adventures and what has come from them. See below for their inspiring answers. Enjoy!
Mother – Barbara Scafidi
Please explain your pre-volunteer story: Why did you decide to volunteer together? What motivated you? Whose idea was it? Why did you choose Global Volunteers?
“Volunteering was always an important part of our lives in our local community – when I decided to take my three children out of school for 6 months and do three Global Volunteer trips I wanted to show them that not only can you help people in your own backyard but there are people in need all over the world. I wanted to them to be exposed to different cultures and experiences. I continue in my efforts with volunteerism to find what they are passionate about- helping animals, children, education, marine biology. Global Volunteers has offered all these experiences for my children. Volunteering should not be a check the box activity it should be heartfelt and you should want to do it and make it a part of your life.”
Did you notice any lesson that your child gained on this program? If so, please explain the greatest one.
“My children grew so much in those months. They learned more from their three Global Volunteer trips in Cook Islands, Poland, and Ecuador than they could have ever learned in a classroom. Not only did they learn about these places from a cultural and geographical standpoint – they learned compassion, to work hard, and that no matter how far someone may live from you – you still have things in common. I think one of the children said it best – seeing the people we are helping smile makes me feel so good inside, and it does not matter what language you speak or where you live!”
What would you say to (other) parents who may be considering this opportunity for their daughters or sons?
“I think taking your children on a Global Volunteers program is one of the most rewarding and life changing experiences you could ever have with your children. To watch them grow and help others is an amazing feeling!!!
Last summer we traveled on our fourth trip to Romania, and once again, I was amazed by my children’s willingness to work hard, do above and beyond what was expected, take initiative, and be so compassionate. As a mom, it is the best feeling to see your children develop into such capable and compassionate people.”
Scafidi children: Olivia (13 years old), Alex (12 years old), and Jack (8 years old)
The Scafidi kids: Jack, Olivia, and Alex
Please describe your favorite memory while volunteering with your mom.
Olivia: “Even though I have had many wonderful experiences with my mom, my favorite would be when we were in the Cook Islands. While we were volunteering at the school and helping kids improve on their reading and writing, I decided to watch my mom work with a child. Seeing how gentle and kind my mom treated that child really allowed me to remember when my mom was teaching me to read and write, by taking our time and having patience.”
Alex: “I have had many amazing experiences with my mom, but one of my favorites is when we were in Romania volunteering at the hospital. I have never really held a baby before and she taught me the proper way. I know it doesn’t sound like a great memory, but when I saw her with the little girl, I imagined that being me when I was little. I can’t really remember the times I had with my mom from when I was little, and now to kind of see something like that reminded me of all the good times we have had. I have learned that she can be so sweet not only with her own kids but with anyone.”
Jack: “My favorite memory while volunteering with my mom was when we were both in the Cook Islands. We volunteered at an after school program at a local church, and I liked reading with my mom to the kids.”
To learn about how you can volunteer in Romania with Global Volunteers, click HERE.