This Month's Volunteer Shoutout
This Month’s Volunteer Shutout: TWO VOLUNTEERS, SIX WEEKS & A TOTAL TRANSFORMATION AT DOVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT CENTER
Ron and Sharolyn left their home in Alberta Canada and traveled 5,420 km in snow storms to arrive at their destination, Puerto Plata, DR. Ron had previously volunteered his skills at Dove many years ago, working on the downstairs flooring, bathroom stalls amongst other projects and we were looking forward to his return. From their very first day, their energy, passion, kindness and talent shone through and gave our staff and children so much hope and inspiration. Plans were made, measurements taken and they even converted the racquetball court at their accommodation into their “workshop”.
CLASSROOMS, KITCHEN, STORAGE, PLANTERS AND LOTS AND LOTS OF PAINTING.
Ron and Sharolyn are highly skilled individuals, and this became apparent in the blink of an eye, when our brand new kitchen appeared. Custom made, granite worktops and beautiful new stove for our children and families, and this was just the beginning. Dove Youth Development was an explosion of bright colors, old furniture was restored and new furniture replaced the tired and worn out. Two men in two days painted the entire exterior of our Youth Center giving it a new fresh look.
FOREVER GRATEFUL & FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS We are thankful beyond words for all that Ron and Sharolyn have done for us, we are thankful for their time, kindness and for the amazing human beings that they are. For more details and photos on their Volunteering experience at Dove Youth Development please check out “Sow seeds of kindness” -
Leonela’s Success Story “Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou On March 8th International Woman’s Day is celebrated worldwide. Although women’s rights and opportunities continue to improve throughout the years, in some countries, women continue to struggle. The Dominican Republic is one of them. But we’d like to tell you a story of a young woman who has inspired us and that despite these difficulties has risen over and above and has filled us up with pride and admiration. That young woman is Leonela Pena. Leonela was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on July 4th, 2001. We met Leonela back in 2015 and she’s been a part of our organization for just over 7 years. Dove Youth Development Center’s mission is to create a community of hope and love that engages and inspires Dominican and Haitian children living in poverty to discover new ways of being and living.
For 7 years, we have watched Leonela grow into the amazing young woman she is. She’s had a hard time finding a job because most jobs in The Dominican Republic require a minimum of experience and she had none. Even after doing many technical courses, she was never given the opportunity. The need to generate income so she could pay for her university and help her parents with the house expenses was the reason that on February 12th Leonela took a leap of faith and started her own small business, “Lela Surprises”. With little to no profit to play with, she started creating decorated sweets and surprise boxes that she could sell to people for gift giving and with love and a lot of hard work she has created an AMAZING small business. She tells us, “Seeing the smiles and getting feedback from my clients is so rewarding that I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
We encourage our kids to dream big, to believe in themselves and always tell them that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. Leonela is living proof of that. If you’d like to know more about Leonela’s small business or purchase one of her products you can follow her work on Instagram: @lela_surprises
Our Youth Development Center and Vocational Learning Program are possible because of your kind donations. Please consider a donation by following the link below:
Thank you for the difference you continue to make in the lives of the children at Dove.
Dove Missions PO BOX 32074 Minneapolis, MN 55432