Volunteer Profile: The Bullock Family
Kyle is a senior software QA engineer and his wife, Nicole, is a stay-at-home parent with their four children. They recently volunteered in the Dominican Republic with their four children because they wanted to give their kids perspective into how other people around the world live. Here, Kyle talks about the experience of volunteering with his family.
How did you hear about Outreach360?
We first learned about the program through materials provided by the University of Utah pre-med office.
What was your motivation for coming down to the Dominican Republic with the organization for the first time?
We desired an opportunity to expand our children’s and our own understanding of the people of the world by serving and living among them. Outreach360 was the first organization that we found that would accommodate our entire family.
What concerns did you have coming on this trip?
We primarily had safety and health concerns, especially for our children.
How did you overcome – or what allayed – those concerns?
Immediately after we signed up to go to the DR, Amanda reached out to us by phone and email to communicate the next steps, give us an intro to the organization, provide us with resources we needed to use, etc. All of the materials on the website helped us understand the environment we would be living in and the precautions we would need to take, as well as those the organization would undertake to keep us all healthy and safe. And any questions we had were always answered quickly. What also helped was an extremely professional organization, honest and thorough information guides, and an extremely responsive staff – which pays attention to details and doesn’t assume you know. They didn’t wait until we had questions to give us information. We always felt we were in safe hands with this organization.
What has been challenging about this experience?
Adapting to the classroom environment in the schools, changing personal hygiene habits due to plumbing infrastructure limitations, and of course, leaving!
What have been a few of your highlights?
Making new friends with the children, as well as with the staff and leaders and other volunteers. The cultural immersion, including food, history, documentaries, dancing, beach, church service, etc. Seeing the children’s faces light up when they get a new concept or gain new abilities to communicate in a foreign language. Knowing that the few bricks we were able to lay during this week will be part of a bridge built to enable them to accomplish their dreams and live a life of choice. They will be prepared to courageously take advantage of opportunities.
What would you like to tell other families that might be considering a trip with Outreach360?
Don’t hesitate! Set a date, and work toward it. You will never regret it, and it will become one of your best family vacations ever, and you will not be the same when you come home. If you desire an opportunity to inspire and prepare children to realize the hero within them, and become a hero yourself, partnering with Outreach360 is definitely a magnificent way to accomplish it. The ages of our children ranged from 14 to 7, and every one of them were able to participate and contribute. It was awesome to hear the students call all of our children “teacher”.
One last thing: A concern for me when supporting any cause is how they use the funds they receive. I have been extremely impressed with the frugality of the organization, and how they maximize the impact of each dollar they receive to impact the lives of children, their families, and their communities. I plan on contributing for the long term to this fabulous organization. They have earned my trust!
What principle/lesson will you take back with you to the states?
Every person, no matter how young or old, can make a positive and lasting impact on someone’s life. Using our gifts and abilities God has given us to educate and inspire others empowers them to be able to do the same for those around them. Knowledge is power, and every little bit we help others obtain makes them more powerful to achieve a life of choice, wherever their dreams take them.