French Creek resident Rob Weller has joined a group of WestJet employees on Vancouver Island who will travel to the Dominican Republic to help build a house for a family in the impoverished country.
It’s a humanitarian mission of the non-profit group LiveDifferent Build.
Weller said WestJet sends a team of volunteers to the Dominican Republic every year. The members of the team are chosen via a draw.
“I always put my name in and I never got in,” said Weller, who used to work for the airline’s customer service. “So we decided to form a WestJet team here on Vancouver Island.”
The team consist of nine current and former WestJet employees, mostly from Victoria and one from Edmonton. Weller said they’re now raising funds for the humanitarian endeavour. The team will leave on March 20 and will be in the Dominican Republic until March 28.
Each volunteer is required to raise a minimum of $2,600, which will cover the cost of the construction materials for the build project.
Weller, who works at Morningstar Golf Club, aims to raise close to $3,000. He is required to pay out of his own pocket for the flight to the Dominican Republic and other incidental costs such as immunization or COVID-19 testing requirements, travel insurance and more.
So far Weller has already gone past the halfway mark of his fundraiser.
While in the Dominican Republic, Weller said, they will work with other volunteers, local contractors, ground staff and also the family they’re building the house for.
“I am looking forward to doing this,” said Weller. “I am semi-retired and I have been looking for ways of giving back. Physically if I can give something more it would make me feel good to do that now at this point in my life. I am excited to be going.”
For anyone wishing to donate to Weller’s build project, they can do it by going online on his LiveDifferent fundraising page at https://my.livedifferent.com/fundraising/rmwellers/Help-me-make-change-possible
“Any donations $20 and up can receive tax receipts,” said Weller.