Project Grace participants have played games with the children in a Tanzanian orphanage, handed out food to families living at the Puerto Vallarta landfill, helped in the construction of a school in rural Nicaragua, and explored ancient grieving rituals in the Greek Islands. No matter what the activity, participants experience a new perspective and purpose while dedicating their time and hearts to a meaningful endeavor. Laughter, tears, friendship, and treasured moments are all part of the experience as participants share stories, offer compassion and support to one another, and work together to provide tangible aid to a community far from home.
What can I expect to gain?
We hope that our participants will gain a new perspective, as well as a renewed sense of purpose from their experience. Our participants mention that they love the freedom to talk about their loved one as much as they like. There is never any pressure to pretend to be okay. Participants have an immediate new group of friends who "get it." Our trips offer a unique opportunity to share stories, and learn how others live with loss. Cross-cultural sharing in a country and community very different from their own offers insight and inspiration.
How much does a Project Grace trip cost and what is included in the cost of the trip?
Most trips cost between $1,200 and $3,000, depending on the destination. We strive to set a price that covers pretty much everything - lodging, meals, ground transportation, excursions, tips, and travelers insurance. Airfare is not included in the cost of a trip. Souvenirs and alcoholic beverages are also not included in the cost. Some of our participants have raised money within their communities to help pay for their trips. Project Grace trips are 100% tax deductible. Scholarship assistance is also available.
How can I obtain scholarship assistance?
We are thrilled to be in a position to offer partial scholarships to almost anyone who needs assistance. Over a third of our participants have received some kind of assistance. If you are interested in financial aid please speak with us directly. We will include a short, simple scholarship application with your paperwork.
Is the cost tax deductible?
Yes, Project Grace is a fiscally sponsored program of Community Initiatives, an independently incorporated 501(c) 3.
Why must we travel out of the U S?
We recognize that there are many deserving organizations here in the United States, and we understand that signing on to one of our trips can feel risky. However, we have witnessed hearts and minds opening when our participants are taken out of the familiar and introduced to new and different cultures. Furthermore, great camaraderie and bonding develop from the shared adventure. These are all essential elements of the Project Grace experience.
Are we really helping?
We only choose projects in which our help will be tangible and meaningful. While we are hesitant to make any grand statements of accomplishment, we are always welcomed and appreciated by the communities with which we work. We become close friends and allies with the members of the communities we serve, and after a week of close association we leave a little bit of us behind, and take a little bit of them home in our hearts.
I am nervous. How can I be sure/how can I assure my family that I will safe?
There is risk associated with any kind of travel. However, we only partner with well-established organizations that are respected in their countries and communities. We choose our lodging based on security and cleanliness, and always travel with a guide and paid driver. This ensures both our safety and our effectiveness. Many of our participants are so thrilled with the experience, that they want to join the next trip, and the next.