March 2010 – From a student participant:
"Judy, thank you for everything you did for us in the DR. You took such good care of us and made sure we were always ok even though you had a million other things to take care of. If it weren't for you, I'd have never gained the experiences that I had while in the DR. I had the best time of my life and I will never forget all of the good times I had. You have been an inspiration to me and I will follow your example the rest of my life; you truly have been a role model to me. I miss the DR and wish I were there right now! Thank you for everything. Keep in touch!” - Rachel Davies, UBC, Vancouver, B.C.
March 2010 – From a volunteer:
"I just wanted to say thank you again for the wonderful way you share God's love. You are a terrific example of someone using their talents to bless others. What a marvelous world this would be if all of us were so obedient and faithful. Again – thanks for doing what you do." - Allana Colonne Robertson, Hillfield Strathallan, Hamilton, Ontario
March 2010 – From a staff:
"I'm deeply grateful for your organization, your knowledge, your understanding of both cultures and ability to bring the two together in a very meaningful way – through authentic service. Thank you, Judy, for two weeks of life that will stand out in my memory forever." - Deb Carlson, Strathcona Tweedsmuir, Okotoks, Alberta
February 2010 – From a university student:
"I cannot fully express how much this trip meant and still means to me, and it's all because of you. I just want you to know that this was one of the best experiences of my life, and I'm so glad that you were the driving force behind it. Thanks to you, I have learned a lot about myself, and have made so many new friends in the DR and in Ontario. Most of the UBC are planning to go back to the DR on one of your trips, so I will definitely see you soon. I miss you, Colleen, Bruce, the U of T people, and the DR people so much." - Rachel Davies, UBC, Vancouver, B.C.
March 2010 – From a staff:
"Thanks so much for allowing me to experience such a positive project. I have been telling people that it was probably one of the best experiences of my life...lol...and I have a had a lot! The people of R.D. and you have made such a lifelong impression on me. I am still soaking it all in." - Ashley Brunette, Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba
March 2010 – From parents of a high school participant:
"Thank you so much for organizing and implementing this wonderful experience for our daughter Gillian. She enjoyed the trip so much and felt, probably for the first time, that she could contribute and make a difference in the world. We think that this trip has changed her view of life and the world and that she will remember it for her entire lifetime. Your outstanding organizational and people skills meant that we had no worries about her. We knew that she was in great hands with you and your team. Thank you again for providing this tremendous learning experience for our daughter." - Carole and Peter Strahlendorf, Toronto, Ontario
February 2010 –
From parents of a university student:
"Judy, THANK YOU! You made an amazing difference in another young life and inspired our daughter Julie to step up and look beyond. My wife Emiko and myself thank you very deeply and sincerely for once more leading a fantastic group of young and upcoming leaders into your Power Trip in Dominican Republic and bringing the team back stronger than before, and in good health. We extend our hospitality to our home if ever you visit Shanghai.
Warmest regards in Rotarian spirit" - Michel & Emike De Vriendt- Shanghai PRC
"I would just like to thank you for making this trip a possibility. Your leadership was mind-blowing and the organization was impressive to say the least. I have expereienced things I will never forget and it has, as you like to say, "sparked" something inside of me. That spark is because I know I can make a difference, and even better, I want to make a difference. That spark wasn't possible without you. No matter how much you help the Dominican Republic, your greatest service accomplishment has been inspiring young and old people to find out the meaning behind service and get their hands dirty. You really helped whet my appetite and now I'm ready for more."
- student from Havergal College, Toronto
"Judy, a big "thank you" for getting this trip going. What a fantastic opportunity for all. Our daughter was really affected by what she saw and learned, the work you all did and those wonderful children. The trip has made an impact (which sometimes with teenagers you wonder if anything outside their world could impact them!) which I know Christine will take with her going forward as she realizes that individuals can make a difference!! Thanks so much!"
- a parent, August 2005
"All of the Appleby students and staff were positively affected by their experiences, growing through their involvement. The work comprised of an excellent balance of physical construction along with meaningful interactions with locals. The recipients were truly in need and deserving of the attention they received. Adequate attention was also given to down-time and culturally enriching experiences, ensuring that everyone got the most of the two week period they spent in the DR.
The participants were also involved in fund-raising and gathering donations for distribution on the projects, adding to the scope of their experience and increasing the sense of worth they got from it."
- Rob McGuiness, Director of International Programs (Appleby College)
"I spent a lot of time thinking about the difference between social development and charitable aid (ie the difference between teaching a man to fish and giving him fish). The issues involved in developing third world countries are many. It can be very difficult to help another country while respecting it's culture and values. I think this trip made my mind open up to many questions; questions which I don't know the answers to. It is an area which I would like to study further through university courses."
"As a parent,I want to thank you for challenging my son to get out there and find support for the "bricks and mortar" fund of this project. Before he even stepped foot in the Dominican Republic, I felt he had learned some good life lessons. Thank you from the word "go" for this well-organized, well-thought-out project."
"I can't believe how much I've taken for granted all my life."
"We can casually get up in the morning and decide to skip work for a day, but in the DR, if you skip a day of work, you and your family will go hungry."
"It's ironic that such a beautiful island could suffer from such poverty. Even though we spent a lot of our time in some of the most poverty stricken areas I was amazed at the fact that I could still find the natural beauty of the island in just about every place we were. It never ceased to amaze me."
"I learned how lucky I am by the grace of God. I learned to appreciate life much more."
"I learned so much about myself on this trip. I learned that helping others is how I want to spend the rest of my life. I can't convey how wonderful it felt to know I was directly making a contribution to those children's lives. I felt like I had accomplished and learned more than I have in 11 years of schooling. I learned the universal language that I have within me: that of my soul, my smile. I learned that there is so much more beyond life in America, though many would like to think otherwise. I learned how powerful I can be if I use my skills and my education to help others. So many famous quotes, like "We can do no great things; only small things with great love" (Mother Teresa) truly melted a place into my heart. I will never be the same."
"When we give our money and donations at these times, it shows that we have recognized that we have more than we need and can afford some charity. When we give our time and ourselves at these times, it goes that step further and shows that we actually care and wish to make a difference.
I loved being able to talk with someone new while painting and really getting to know each of the children with us and the other students. I love that laughter and smiles are universal--you don't need a dictionary to convey such emotions."
"This experience opened my eyes."
"I will go on remembering the best trip of my life... in 2 words: life changing"
"Power Trips rocks!"