By Maddison Staszkiewicz, Program Associate in Honduras
With Canada’s Thanksgiving Day celebrations behind us and the United States’ Thanksgiving Day coming up soon, it is the season to be thankful. Traditionally, Thanksgiving was a time to come together and give thanks for the harvest and for the previous year. In my time working with Global Brigades, I have had the pleasure of forming friendships and making lasting connections with volunteers, community members, and staff members alike. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved with Global Brigades.
To every volunteer: I want to thank each of you, past and present, for your inspiring dedication to Global Brigades. Your commitment to the work we accomplish together is the backbone of Global Brigades. In 2017, we’ve had 7,877 volunteers on brigade: 3,027 in Honduras, 3,356 in Nicaragua, 1,273 in Panama, and 221 in Ghana, and the year isn’t over yet! Through your ongoing willingness and desire to partner with communities, volunteers have provided 135 individuals with legal case consultations alongside Panamanian Lawyers and invested 19,500 USD in Community Banks run by partner communities. You have dug 8,214 meters of trench, installed 4,581 meters of pipe, and constructed 561 latrines and 292 eco-stoves. With about 80 new Chapter leads campuses, you have grown the movement even more. Together, we can continue to make great strides to reach our goals.
I also want to thank everyone that is a leader for Global Brigades, whether it be a Chapter Leader, Campus Chairperson, GB Ambassador, Executive Board Member, a member of the various GB Boards, or an advocate for Global Brigades on campus or in daily conversations. You are an integral part of the organization, and we wouldn’t be moving forward and creating positive changes if not for you. Thank you for dedicating your time year-round to Global Brigades!
To every community member: Thank you for your devotion toward achieving your health and development goals by ensuring the sustainability of Global Brigades programs, conquering economic growth through your Community Banks, and taking initiatives to make the most of our partnerships. Also, thank you for always opening your homes, sharing your experiences, and even letting volunteers have a cup of piping hot coffee on a chilly morning. Your open arms make everyone feel welcome, and your smiles overcome language barriers. Thank you for showing us that working together is the solution to achieving our shared goals.
To every staff member: Thank you for embodying #GB365 through your commitment to work alongside volunteers and community members, and for always having a smile on your face while doing it! You inspire everyone you work with, whether it be brigaders, community members, or co-workers. Though Global Brigades works from many different countries, we form an incredibly strong team of which I’m continuously proud to be a member. Global Brigades would simply not be the same without every single one of you, so thank you!
Before I go, I want to take a moment to thank all of the individuals that have impacted me this past year. As a Program Associate in Honduras, I have met so many amazing and engaging people, and I have learned so much from each one of you. Whether it be learning about your goals and dreams on a bus ride to and from a community, or hearing you speak passionately about the Holistic Model at the lodging facility over a cup of Café Holístico, you never cease to inspire me. I’m excited to see how we can grow together and what we can accomplish next year and in all of the years to come. Thank you all!
Who would you like to thank this Thanksgiving season? A fellow brigader, a translator or coordinator, or maybe a community member whom you met and bonded with during your last brigade? Write them a note, get in touch, or tell them during your next Chapter meeting or brigade. Take time to reflect on the relationships you have created through Global Brigades, and get ready to create more during your next meeting, event, or brigade!