This past July, Teenagers, Inc participated in its fourth annual service trip to Guatemala. A program for adolescents from Northwest Philadelphia, Teenagers, Inc started a relationship with The GOD’S CHILD Project after director Marianne Dwyer’s daughter participated in a service trip with GCP through Villanova University. One of Teenagers, Inc’s goals is to foster volunteerism at home and farther away, and Dwyer values the interaction GOD’S CHILD provides between the volunteers and those whom they serve. “[We] love the formatting of [the] service experience and living with families.”
The Philadelphia group members held about seven fundraisers to help pay for their trip, as well as asking the local community for donations to bring down with them to Guatemala. “Presenting [the mothers] with a basket of food, detergent and items that will help feed their family was absolutely so beautiful,” Dwyer said.
While in Guatemala, Teenagers, Inc worked with children at the Dreamer Center, the Casa Maria-Home for the Elderly and made social visits. Dwyer’s favorite activity, however, was house-building. “As soon as I swept out the new home for presentation to the family, the tears flowed! It is something I do every day at home, and to do it for our new family in Guatemala was so moving – a home that will protect the family from the weather – to look at the Mom and the excited kids was so connecting on a real level!”
Teenagers, Inc “definitely” plans on continuing to return to Guatemala, as Dwyer wants to enable more teens to experience the act of giving service and aiding families in need. She believes the trips are life-changing and she herself will “treasure those moments forever.”