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Review for Global Volunteers, St. Paul, MN, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

From the moment I heard from an acquaintance about having volunteered with Global Volunteers at the Blackfeet Reservation, I decided I must go. Once I was there myself with my two daughters and began meeting members of the community -experiencing the trust that Global Volunteers had engendered with them - that I had the benefit of as a stranger - the trust in our intentions even if our execution on the task at hand was often less than perfect - I knew this was something so precious that needed to be protected and preserved. I felt it became imperative to my happiness that I continue to volunteer and meet more people with the intention to serve, with humility, at their request. I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am, also, that I was able to share this experience with my daughters, who continue to talk about their experience to this day, and look forward to volunteering together more in the future. The dramatically more intimate perspective one has of a place and a people when volunteering along side of them, listening to them, answering questions they have about where you are from, learning about the struggles in their community, the pride they have in their culture, their desire to impart lessons about their people, traditions, medicine, spiritual practices, families, celebrations, communities, schools, healthcare, judicial system, and more (this based on my experience of the extraordinary Blackfeet people I spent time with), cannot ever be experienced simply as a “tourist,” who by definition is just passing through and is not vested in the health of the people and community long term. I love that with Global Volunteers there is the long-term commitment that teams are contributing towards, providing continuity - and even support from a distance when in-person support is interrupted due to a pandemic.

I could go on and on. Global Volunteers changed my life. I can see how the positive impacts can be viral - putting a twist on a word which has only negative associations at this time. It makes me feel so good to think that the interactions that are forbidden right now will return and will potentially have an even greater poignancy.

Role:  Volunteer