For nine days, 50 WestJetters immersed themselves within the local community of La Union in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic to take part in the eighth WestJet Live Different Builds.
On this annual humanitarian trip, WestJetters were able to build new homes for five families living in extreme poverty.
Since WestJet’s first humanitarian trip in April 2012, more than 400 WestJetters have volunteered their time to build 38 new homes for deserving families. WestJetters’ extra fundraising efforts have also contributed to many significant community enhancement projects. This year, WestJetter participants raised over $17,000 of extra funds that, when topped up to $22,000 by WestJet, were used to create engineer-designed paved pathways throughout La Union, improving walkability, water dispersion and the overall health and safety of the community.
“WestJet’s caring culture has always extended beyond our aircraft and we’re incredibly proud of the WestJetters who volunteer their time and talents to make this important annual trip possible,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet vice-president, marketing and communications. “By working together with Live Different and the La Union community, we are able to enrich the lives of deserving families in the WestJet world.”
In 2012, WestJet partnered with Canadian-based charity Live Different to make international community investment possible in one of its most popular Caribbean destinations. Through all eight Live Different Builds, WestJet has been able to bring its caring culture to some of the most impoverished communities in the Dominican Republic.
The Live Different Builds team is WestJet’s on-the-ground charitable partner in the Puerto Plata area. They liaise with the local community to ensure the work addresses their needs and is done in healthy and sustainable manner; to oversee project management; to hire local contractors and translators to work alongside the WestJet volunteers; as well as to provide on-site instruction and support.