During the first week of May, Univera Associates and Corporate Staff accompanied Serve First’s partner, Vitamin Angels, on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Though Univera has assisted Serve First on several of these trips, the DR was a first for Univera. While there, the Associates witnessed the mission of Serve First played out in real time, as the lives of some very deserving children were impacted with the gift of essential, life-giving micronutrients.
Below, you can get to know the lucky Associates who were chosen to attend this trip. How does one prepare themselves for a trip to a place unlike any they’ve ever been? Where things like clean drinking water, electricity and three square meals are considered luxuries instead of bare necessities? Let’s find out…
My name is Shelly and I am from Floyds Knobs IN (10 minutes from downtown Louisville). I have been involved with Univera for eight years. I am passionate about transforming lives inside and out. Prior to getting involved in Univera I owned a personal training studio, took care of our four kids (Ty 15, Kyley 14, Casey 11 and Macy 4) while Jay traveled the US coaching professional and college baseball. I now spend more time educating people about the life changing benefits of Univera vs. working hour for dollar at a training studio.
What I do for fun is transform lives. I spend all of my time with my kids, clients and Univera team. My reward is all of the fun, free trips thanks to Univera.There is nothing else I would rather spend my time doing than giving people the zest for life so they can make a difference in others lives on earth until eternity.
My hobbies are watching my kids play sports and being blessed to train them as a strength and conditioning specialist. The products and training help them excel on and off the field.
What is your favorite Univera product?
Xtra is my favorite product. I was gifted 6 Xtra MINIs 8 years ago and soon felt a difference. No one leaves the house without it. It helped me overcome being a caffeine addict and chocoholic and those are two hypocritical addictions as a mastered health professional. My favorite product for my clients is Metabolic Makeover and Prime. Everyone that uses Metabolic Makeover feels great!
What does Serve First mean to you?
Serve First means giving time, talents and treasures first. In Univera it means being a Servant Leader for our team. Since Univera has provided our family with health, wealth and purpose we give part of our tithe monthly to Serve First and the rest to our church. We pray money truly blesses those in need and are thankful that money goes to children without basic nutrients.
How do you include the Serve First mission into your Univera business?
We include the Serve First mission into our business by giving monthly and encouraging the team to give generously too. Once per year we do something as a team to make a difference. Last year we asked our team to ask their kids to give up the money their parents spend on their birthdays for presents and parties and donate that money to Serve First. We had a team party with tug o war, volleyball, kickball, Serve First cake to celebrate our kids birthdays along with 7th year of Serve First. We presented over $3000 to Bill Lee when he was in town presenting.
We also spent an entire Wednesday dressed Wacky to spread silliness in a serious world to retirement homes, sick kids and people with special needs. This year the day before the trip we are asking each Associate to give to Serve First and are asking for balls, Frisbees, hackie sacks to take with us on Serve First mission trip to Dominican Republic.
Describe how you felt when you found out that you had been chosen to go on the annual Serve First trip.
I was speechless! Excited! Four years ago I was chosen to go on the Serve First trip, but was nursing a 6 month old and could find no takers to babysit four kids while Jay was out of town due to baseball. I was praying that I was chosen this year and truly thankful when prayer was answered. Thank you Univera!
What are your expectations about the Dominican Republic?
I don’t know what to expect. I just try to live in the moment. I have never been on a mission trip before. Based on the paper we had to notarize, a little nervous! I hope it will be hot and sunny and not too buggy! I don’t know what any conditions will be like and like to be surprised! I thought we would be sleeping on dirt floor but pleasantly surprised when itinerary said staying at a hotel.
What are you doing to prepare for your trip physically, mentally and emotionally?
All I am doing to get ready for trip is throwing everything on my list in a suitcase night before trip. I already work out every day, read books everyday and pray with family every night. Getting ready for a BIG Univera event on same day we fly out of country, along with 4 kids, 2 businesses makes me make the most of each moment and not think too far in advance.
My prayer is that I can bless someone with love and kindness and prayers. My prayer is for safety to and from Serve First trip. My gratitude is to Bill Lee and corporate for providing a once in a lifetime opportunity. My prayer is that my heart is TRANSFORMED to give more generously! My prayer is that the trip empowers me to not be wasteful with resources or time!