Taking a Hero Holiday a powerful experience

Giving time and effort to help others proves rewarding

Most of us have been on a holiday, but have you been on a holiday that helps someone else in need? 

Humanitarian trips are becoming more popular among communities. One that has caught the eye of local Oceanside students and families is Hero Holiday. 

Hero Holiday is a Canadian organization that provides an unbeatable experience for students, adults, and families. There are four locations that Hero Holiday is associated with, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Haiti. 

This is a great opportunity for those travel bugs that are also willing to work hard and help children and families in poverty. The trips are offered year round and last for either a week or a whole month as an intern. 

Rebecca Bonelle, a student at Ballenas Secondary School comments on her own experience in Mexico.

“Going on a Hero Holiday is a truly unique experience that changes the way you see the world and to realize how fortunate we really are.” 

In Oceanside, there were seven students who came together from both high schools and Qualicum Beach Middle School. 

The nine Oceanside Hero Holiday goers all went to Mexico in the summer of 2010 and some will return this summer for another unforgettable experience. 

The families and children living in poverty create makeshift houses out of whatever material is available to them. This could mean they are living in shacks made of scrap wood and tarps. All of their belongings lie on the floor, or are packed up in plastic bags. Most of the children do not go to school. If they are old enough, they go out and work to make money for food and water.

Fundraisers are put together to help pay for the cost of the trip so that families like those described are given a huge helping hand. The students really put their all into fundraising for their trip. 

They go door-to-door, sell pizza at school, and shovel and sell fish compost — all in the aid of paying for their trips. 

A trip like this not only helps the poverty ridden families, travelers get to walk away from the experience feeling like different people. The rewards of helping someone in need not only helps them, but it also gives the participant a chance to see the life of someone else first hand. This is a very powerful thing to live and experience. 

Hero Holiday is a part of a larger non-profit organization called Absolute. 

If you are interested in finding out more information about Hero Holiday, you can visit their website at  http://heroholiday.absolute.org.

— Devon Close is a student at KSS.