All of us at Common Hope feel extremely fortunate to collaborate with such wonderful, dedicated volunteers. We know that without them, we wouldn’t be able to achieve the same results that we are seeing today. National Volunteer Week is April 12-18, and we think it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight all the great work our volunteers do year round–both in Guatemala and the U.S.!

A recap of last year’s volunteer efforts in the U.S. office

In the states, 2014  was our biggest year yet for volunteering! We had the privilege of collaborating with 157 individuals who worked a total of 2,170 hours–that averages out to about 42 hours per week!

They have helped us greatly with event support, mail coordination, administrative tasks, translation, outreach work, warehouse organization, school supply drives, and more.

Collaboratively, they helped send and distribute nearly 10,000 letters and correspondence!

Our Minnesota-based volunteers were a life saver during the months of August, September and October as they gave us a tremendous amount of support during our School Supply Drive. Volunteers worked an estimated amount of 100 hours boxing supplies, working in the warehouse and loading the container, and about 25 hours helping with data entry!

A recap of last year’s volunteer efforts in Guatemala

2014 was a great year for Vision Teams. We worked alongside 371 Vision Team participants–nearly 60 people more than the previous year. Each Vision Team member worked approximately 40 hours during their week in Guatemala and they helped us build 25 houses for the families we serve. Another fun fact is that 100 Vision Team members decided to sponsor in 2014–56 of them while they were in Guatemala and 44 of them before they went to Guatemala or after they left! Way to go!

We had the honor to work with numerous Rotarians, church groups, family groups, school groups, and parent-children groups in Guatemala, as well!

We were very fortunate to have 8 dental teams visit in 2014. They brightened the smiles of 798 patients in Antigua, San Rafael and New Hope.

We were also very fortunate to have worked with 158 short-term volunteers. They helped Common Hope students with their homework; they did recreational activities like sports workshops and guitar lessons with the youth; they helped students with their homework and research projects in the computer center; they prepared food bags for families; they worked in construction and maintenance, and they helped in the library and children’s center by reading books to kids and helping organize activities.

Our long-term volunteers in 2014 were Rachel Stone, Lauren Ruth, Morgan Newman, Keara Farrelly, Lynn Miller, Laura Sutton, and Teresa Hermodson-Olsen, who now works in the St. Paul office as the Sponsorship Coordinator. These hard-working ladies supported us by coordinating short-term volunteers and Vision Teams, and by serving as the Housing Liaison, working in the clinic and library and running youth programs. They did a beautiful job!

To all our volunteers, we thank you because you have given your time, talents and heart to our mission. It’s truly a privilege to work with you and we’re honored that you have chosen us. Please know that each minute you volunteer is time that goes towards helping the families we serve, and for that, we are forever grateful.

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities in the U.S. or Guatemala, please contact our U.S. office at (651) 917-0917 or send an email. You can also check our website to learn more about how you can volunteer for Common Hope at: