“Building Homes and Lives in the Dominican Republic” -Featuring Resource 1 Team Member, Kristen Long
Driven by strong philanthropic values, Resource 1 regularly encourages its team members to get involved in their communities. Recently, Account Executive Kristen Long had an eye-opening experience during her mission trip to the Dominican Republic. The trip was part of a church program that not only helps locals build new homes, but also allows the volunteers to interact with and mentor troubled teens.
Kristen’s church, Hickory Creek Community Church, partners with an Indiana-based group called Crosswinds, which is committed to helping troubled young adults in the area. For individuals who must be removed from their current environment, Crosswinds sends them out to Caribbean Mountain Academy, a therapeutic boarding school-like setting in the Dominican Republic. Teens spend six to eight months as students there before returning to their home community for a fresh start. The goal of this faith-based program is for these young adults to return with new perspectives and the ambition to live their lives more positively. It is these students that Kristen spent time connecting with during her trip, working alongside them to help the local community.
During the six-day trip, Kristen and the members of her mission group spent meal times with these students, sharing stories and participating in various activities and games in a comfortable atmosphere built to establish positive relationships. After the students’ morning studies, the mission group went out with several Academy students to the self-sustaining village community of Majaguita. The teams helped to rebuild a local home that was impacted by the hurricane season. The two teams worked together alongside other locals to form an assembly line in order to transfer hundreds of cinder blocks down a steep ravine.
Another project included digging boundary lines for a local church that was in the process of being built. Since the trip occurred during rainy season in the Dominican Republic, there was also some downtime used for connecting with both the students of Caribbean Mountain Academy and the locals themselves. Finally, there was some time for hiking in the mountains, where Kristen and the team enjoyed some incredible views.
Since returning home, Kristen has a deep appreciation for the Dominican culture. She states, “it is a culture to be admired as they are very happy and celebrate life, family and community. They don’t necessarily want the things that most people have in the US.” Working alongside a very diverse group of people, Kristen enjoyed the deep connection that was fostered between each group, including the mission group, the team at the Caribbean Mountain Academy, and the locals themselves. She looks forward to similar trips in the future.
Resource 1 is proud to share the stories of our team members and the philanthropic work they are doing outside of the office. Learn more about our team here.