The Fuller Center for Housing’s Global Builders program was on pace midway through 2011 to break records for trips and participants. Perhaps that wasn’t clear enough. Now that the numbers for the year have been tallied, we must amend our previous statement.
Upon further inspection, we didn’t break records. We shattered them.
We had a record-breaking year in 2010 with 22 trips and 225 participants. But 2011 was a record-shattering year with 36 trips and 419 participants (plus one virtual participant). That’s an 86 percent increase in participants over the previous year.
Director of International Field Operations Ryan Iafigliola said the reason is simple: “Returning participants and wonderful hosts!"
“People like to know where their money is going, and this is the best way to find out first-hand,” he added. “Much of what we find ourselves doing as an organization is asking – asking for money or help so that we can give to others. But with our trips, we also are able to give something to the donors – a chance for adventurous travel and meaningful new friendships.”
Iafigliola says he’s hoping to see the Global Builders hit the 45-trip mark in 2012 but would love to see the program hit 50. He’d also like to see more involvement in Africa and trips to areas that have not yet seen Global Builders.
“We know that we’ll have our first-ever trips to India and Honduras,” Iafigliola said of the outlook for 2012. “I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more ‘firsts’ before it’s all said and done.”
There’s also a new way to help build with our international partners – virtually. Virtual participants get the same hat and T-shirt as traveling team members and receive pictures from their trip. Instead of actually making the journey and paying for airfare, all the money gets sent in to the country to help provide jobs for local people and to buy materials.
“I’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has taken a journey with us!” Iafigliola said. “Our countries get so much more accomplished because of our teams. We hope everyone will come back … and brings friends.”
The Fuller Center for Housing invites you to join a trip in 2012 and shatter more records. Or, propose a trip to work with one of our international covenant partners. Anyone who can get a group of at least eight people together can propose a trip of their own.