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Katie Menzies (back, left) Desiree Hodges, Madeline Gates, Sycora Hapenny, Joel Patterson, Grace Gates (front, left) Emily Durling and Hailey Hodges are among the members of West Kings District High School’s Dream Team 2019. They’re raising money for a mission to the Dominican Republic.
Katie Menzies (back, left) Desiree Hodges, Madeline Gates, Sycora Hapenny, Joel Patterson, Grace Gates (front, left) Emily Durling and Hailey Hodges are among the members of West Kings District High School’s Dream Team 2019. They’re raising money for a mission to the Dominican Republic. - Kirk Starratt

BERWICK, NS - They’re a group of students looking to make West Kings District High School support of good will missions to the Dominican Republic an annual tradition.

Members of West King’s Dream Team 2019 were at Meadowbrook Farm Meat Market in Berwick on July 21 holding a free-will offering barbecue with hotdogs and sausages to raise money for an upcoming mission trip.

16-year-old Madeline Gates of Aylesford said Dream Team 2019 is a group of 13 West Kings students going into their Grade 12 year. They’re raising money for a mission trip to Sosua, Dominican Republic, from March 5 to 12, 2019. They hope to raise $8,000 to build a house for a family in need. Gates said they also plan to do some gardening to assist the community and help out in other ways.

“I think it’s a really good chance to touch people from another country,” Gates said. “We get to go see all the kids down there and we get to teach them English and stuff too, so I think it’s going to be a really great experience.”

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Gates said the fact that they’ll be making the trip during their graduating year would make the special experience even more memorable.

She said the group hopes to raise awareness of the initiative here at home and that they’ll have the moral and financial support of the greater community as they work to raise the necessary funds. Gates said they also hope to inspire others so that missions to the Dominican continue.

She said the trip would be her second time on an airplane while it would be a first for other Dream Team members.

16-year-old Grace Gates of Aylesford said the mission trip is being facilitated in association with Servant’s Heart Ministries (SHM). Another group from West Kings went on a similar mission this past March and the Dream Team students drew information and inspiration from them.

She agrees that it will provide a great experience, both in terms of the skills learned during the fundraising phase and on the mission itself. Gates believes the mission will give the students a new outlook on the world.

“I can’t wait to go down there and make a difference,” Gates said.

She said it’s great to demonstrate that there are those who want to help less fortunate people, not only at home but internationally. Gates hopes that the Dream Team fundraising efforts would also help bring the local community together in support of a great cause.

Having been to Florida before, she said the mission to the Dominican would be the furthest away from home she has ever been.

About Servant’s Heart Ministries

A couple from Bridgewater, Phil and Donna Williams, started SHM following a holiday in the Dominican. They witnessed a little girl die needlessly due to a lack of medical care. They made a commitment that they would try to make a difference by involving teams from Nova Scotia.

The SHM mission is three-fold, offering quality education to impoverished communities, dispensing medical care in remote locations and providing safe, well-built housing in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

For more information about SHM or its sponsorship programs, visit www.ServantsHeartDR.org or the Servant’s Heart Ministries Facebook page. They’re also on Twitter, @SHMDR.

Kirk.starratt@kingscountynews.ca

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