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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bright Light Volunteers International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, International, International Relief, Youth Development - Citizenship, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Bright Light Volunteers exists to promote cross-cultural understanding, volunteerism, and cultivate positive global leadership in the world.

Target demographics: provide struggling communities the funding and man power to increase access to education, improve community infrastructure, and work on environmental projects

Direct beneficiaries per year: thousands of community members, over 500 students, and 9 independent communities

Geographic areas served: Communities around the world, promoting cross-cultural understanding, sustainability, and fostering global leadership.

Programs: school construction, well building, community improvements, teaching and education initiatives, house construction, and much, much more!

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 GioTrinidad

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the great pleasure of cooperating with BLV while they were over here in Trinidad,Cuba.According I could witness their influence in the participants of their program is absolutely a positive one, I mean to say not only in the volunteers but also in the families that they assisted.
Per example, while others see obstacles they see opportunities to show solidarity, while others build walls they build bridges...
So,will be a great pleasure to say: welcome back to Trinidad BLV

Sherrye H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Three of my five children have taken part in these trips. All three have come back home with a new prospective on life and the desire to continue to help others. The youngest of the five is about to embark on her chance to do this and I am sure there will be more than one trip for her. The work these groups do is a life changing experience for the ones going and the ones receiving the help. This organization is changing lives every day, how many can actually say that they have made such an impact? Wonderful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Trebisht, Albania with Bright Light almost a year ago to the day. We rebuilt an elementary school that had been destroyed by fire. We were able to work alongside local masons, and participate in all aspects of the build itself, as well as spend time with some of the locals. We had a group of 12 adults. We all had such an amazing, and fulfilling experience. The way things were setup, we ate all meals together, and did group activities so that we all left feeling more like a family then friends, or in some cases a group of strangers coming together for a common cause. I worked alongside Catherine, the founder of Bright Light, and she was lovely. She was constantly coming up with ideas, and really helped guide us when it came to fundraising strategies, especially when things were proving more difficult on our end then initially anticipated. Our guides were fantastic women who were constant support throughout the trip. My entire group came back from the trip with a deeper sense of meaning, and appreciation, and we have them to thank! I cannot wait to work with Bright Light again!

2 Adrianne R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bright Light Volunteers is an extraordinary opportunity for all ages to broaden their understanding of the world and other cultures. The programs are engaging, hands-on, eye opening, educating, thrilling, fulfilling in many ways, and very well thought out and pre-planned by an excellent group of board members. Becoming a part of the organization has been the best benefit thus far. You gain so many new friends and make numerous connections from all over the world. Being a global citizens is very rewarding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Alexis Soria and Bright Light Volunteers has truly changed my perspective on volunteer service. Last summer I got the chance to volunteer in Peru with school children and create everlasting memories and friendships. Working in Peru taught me that there is more to value in life such as family and traditions which was truly an eye opening experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visiting a new place can be nerve racking! The first time I joined BrightLight was the summer of 2018 in Costa Rica. I then rejoined them this summer (2019) again in Costa Rica. Through this organization, I found the happiest country in the world. Through this organization, I found something that I truly love; helping others. BrightLight Volunteers helped me realize that there is more to the world than the small town you live in, or even the big city. In Costa Rica, we learned all about permaculture, we learned how to treat animals in a rescue center, and most of all, we learned how to adapt in a new environment! This year we stayed in Atenas, which was absolutely gorgeous! We visited Manuel Antonio National Park one day. This was such a great experience! It’s not everyday you get to see monkeys on the beach! Throughout the week, we helped in the local elementary school with an after school program. The kids were so energetic and excited that we were there to play with them! Looking back at my time in Atenas, Costa Rica, i know we were there doing great things and helping the community! BrightLight Volunteers has helped me understand the meaning of actually helping others through travel! I will always be grateful for this organization!

1 Natalie M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bright Light Volunteers has been an extraordinarily beautiful program since the day that it popped into my life here at Bethel University. I have travelled with BLV to some absolutely breathtaking places, like Cuba, Colombia, and most recently Costa Rica. Each opportunity holds so many lessons about life, allows the students to gain cultural competence and awareness, introduces a foreign language, teaches independence and courage, provides experience for future schools and/or jobs, and overall gives the students a better sense of themselves. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in travelling and studying abroad because you are sure to leave with much more knowledge and experience of the world than when you came.

1 Vince B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has allowed me to not only intimately experience places that most people can only dream of seeing, but it has also repeatedly provided me unique opportunities for global citizenship education and global service via didactic hands-on cultural immersion. From building cafeterias at an orphanage in the highlands of Peru to facilitating the rehabilitation of exotic animals at a shelter in Costa Rica and doing English learning workshops with grade school children in both locations, some of my most rewarding experiences are a product of the BLV's dynamic approach to service and learning abroad. They are truely passionate about and dedicated to making the world a brighter place!

1 Prachi P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had the incredible opportunity to serve with Bright Light Volunteers in Atenas, Costa Rica. It was truly a one of a kind experience that will stay with me for a lifetime!

1 VolunteerParticipant

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Art is an expression of one’s self. The projects we introduced to the kids at the two schools in Peru were magical to both volunteers and students. Making backpacks from t-shirts, decorating picture frames and having a professional chef teach a cooking class were some of the highlights of this trip.

However, the smiles and joyfulness of all the children was a life changing experience for me. I know our visit impacted the students but the interaction certainly worked both ways.

My most memorable moments were being offered a beautiful rose, upon enter the school yard, next watching a performance of dance and seeing the welcome sign with all the volunteers names on it.

Culturally, I observed a preparation of a meal being cooked in the ground, over hot rocks. Vegetables, fruits, chicken and guinea pig were thrown into the pit. This provided lunch for all the children at the school. They ate out of the new, metal bowls that Bright Light Volunteers bought for the students.

I truly felt like my mission of being a global citizen was accomplished.

1 BellaMCM12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program allowed me to gain a whole new perspective when I traveled to Ghana. Through Bright Light I learned to stop thinking of Africa as a collective and to view the many countries on this wide continent as beautiful and diverse. I came to Ghana with stereotypes already in place, all of which were blown away by the beautiful people I met , the delicious food, and the rich culture. Now, whenever someone states a generalized and obtuse statement about Africa, I will use my experiences I gained through Bright Light Volunteers to open their eyes as well.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered on two programs with Bright Light Volunteers in Cuba and in Ghana. Both were unforgettable, amazing experiences. In Cuba, I met a welcoming people that has struggled to survive through the embargo and the power of their own government. Because of Bright Light I am able combat ignorance and stereotypes within myself and my community.

1 Allison R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled and volunteered with BLV to Peru in 2017 and was extremely pleased with the entire experience! I was able to interact and teach local children while also helping with construction of a kitchen for their school. I highly recommend BLV to anyone who is looking to make a difference, and have an amazing time while doing it.

1 heykatie

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi! My name is Katie. I traveled with Bright Light Volunteers to Costa Rica in June, 2018. Prior to travel, I enrolled in a course (for 3 hours of college credit) through Bethel University where I learned about the history and culture of Costa Rica, as well as the issue of plastic pollution. Then, in Santa Teresa, I had the opportunity to take action. For example, one of our service projects involved a beach clean up where we collected bags and bags of single-use plastics, which we turned into art! I am currently working on a proposal for my principal requesting that our school eliminate the use of plastic straws in our lunchroom. Through my BLV program, I was educated, immersed, and involved. I believe this program helped me develop global leadership and citizenship skills necessary to make the world a brighter place! Highly recommend!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BLV has helped me, as a teacher, connect with students on a deeper and more personal level. Among the obvious lessons and skills learned through the service projects with BLV, students are able to make a connection between body, mind, and soul like never before.

1 Amanda M.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently completed my third service program with Bright Light Volunteers. Our group went to Costa Rica. We learned a lot about our need to conserve and reduce our use of plastic. We cleaned up beaches of microplastics and implemented permaculture farming at a local high school. This organization puts together the BEST global service learning programs! I highly recommend Bright Light Volunteers!

1 heystacie

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been partnering with Bright Light Volunteers to facilitate Global Service Learning programs for my high school and college students since 2015. The organization delivers meaningful, sustainable, thoughtful experiences which are designed to facilitate the development of global citizens and leaders. I have not been disappointed! Also, my 100 plus student participants have reported a very high level of satisfaction with the quality of their BLV experiences. Highly recommend!

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been traveling and serving nationally and internationally with high school and college students since 2007. I have partnered with a variety of organizations over the years to bring these adventures in service learning to fruition. Bright Light Volunteers, however, stands out among the others.

Programs are customized to meet the needs of the group, projects are sustainable and responsible, and the on-site, in-country leadership is top-notch. Housing is safe and clean, the food is healthy and authentic, and extracurricular activities are designed to further improve understanding of the culture.

Bright Light Volunteers experience true cultural immersion that they report results in a deepened appreciation for others, a better understanding of the interconnectedness of our world (and their place in it), and a stronger desire to serve others. Lives are being changed through these global service learning experiences!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Visiting two schools in Peru was a life changing experience. Bright Light Volunteers had it completely organized. The trip also included some sightseeing, great traditional meals and meeting new people to share this journey with. There is always a mission with BLV. This time, we helped with a filtration system at one of the schools so that there would be clean, fresh water. Additionally, we bought tin bowls so that eating lunch for the children, would be more sanitary versus plastic plates, that could harbor germs.

The children at the schools enjoyed learning new skills, doing crafts with us, a hygiene lesson when we supplied toothpaste and new brushes and a host of other interactive activities. We brought sports equipment, games, clothing and other essential items for the children.

We experienced a very warm welcome at the school with a performance on their playground. The children's smiles were priceless, precious and plentiful.

Bright Light Volunteers makes a different in the world in a huge way. I highly recommend this way to experience a humanitarian trip. It is a heartwarming adventure and does the soul a lot of good. Making a difference in people's lives is the goal that BLV always accomplishes.

Kudos to the founder, Catherine Greenberg, for all that she does plus allows us volunteers to be global citizens.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can not express how amazing this organization is!!!! They allowed me to be apart of an adventure that I thought would never be possible in my life. their support and love for helping others bring aid and services around the world are beyond measure. Thank you Bright Light and keep shining your light of hope to generations to come! Thanks for the life changing experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica and I absolutely loved it! I loved getting to know more about another culture and to help them with some of the projects that they were working on!

1 Billy.M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered in Cuba last October with Bright Light Volunteers! The program was a great way to get to see a part of the world that I normally wouldn't have. The guides hired by BLV were top-notch. The work we did was meaningful. I would highly recommend BLV if you want to travel abroad and volunteer!