© Matt Dayka / Vitamin Angels NI15
© Matt Dayka / Vitamin Angels NI15

Nicaragua 2015: Ralph Bietz’s Experience

Spending time with the children is always an amazing experience for me:)

The kids are always so happy to see you, and to interact with you. It is so important for them to know that someone cares beyond their immediate village. And it always reminds me of my children when they were small …and even well through their teenage years. My home was one of those places the kids always came to play and I am forever thankful for that. We would play together, cook, watch sports (all boys you know), and having them run around the house and property…And these are some of my life’s fondest memories evoked and relived, once again, from my Serve First trips with Vitamin Angels to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic where we got to simply play with the children and be big kids ourselves.

When you enter the village, you always receive such a warm welcome. The children’s smiles are always so deep and sincere, and their laughter spellbinding. It evokes such a deep emotion within you. And, it beckons a saying that I heard one time of “Who is helping or saving whom?” You get fully grounded quickly in what is important. What you get back from philanthropy is a true sense of purpose, making a difference with your life, of being a part of a much bigger world and humanity. Their environment is also very humbling as the children and their parents get by on so little, but yet they are happy, and very thankful for what they have. Something that we too often lose in today’s digital instantaneous society where even our human contact can get lost. Serve First has been a wonderful experience for me. And, I am very thankful for how everyone at Univera has embraced it!

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