Known for its outreach efforts both in the community and abroad, the Larchmont Avenue Church (LAC) will soon send 16 youth and adult church members to Caimonial in the Dominican Republic to expand an existing school by constructing a new classroom as part of the Every School Needs a Good Foundation program.
Students from Mamaroneck High School and the French-American School of New York (FASNY) will depart on their February school break, and spend nine days helping local residents dig a foundation by hand for the school.
According to a release sent out by the church's youth group leaders, the school is located near the Dominican/Haiti border, an area plagued by poverty and a lack of revenue generated by tourism. Older students in Caimonial often have to trudge over three miles to attend school in the next town, a task that becomes a more difficult proposition in the higher grades.
For some students, the experience of a mission trip has changed their perspective on suburban life.
“This is my second time going on an international mission trip. I am doing this again because I saw in one week's time the kind of impact the work we do there can have on a community, its members and on myself. I came back with a better appreciation for another culture, feeling less materialistic and with an appreciation for the privileges I enjoy here," said MHS Junior Liam Hanley, in the release.
The youth group hopes to raise $15K—half of the funds needed to build the room plus money for the trip—and, so far, have met 25 percent of their goals.
Those wishing to donate to the student's efforts can visit the First Giving website here. The group will be hosting a community movie night on Jan. 25 from 7-9 p.m. where they will screen a movie about the Dominican Republic. On Feb. 7, The Voracious Reader in Larchmont will be partnering with the group and will donate 10 percent of the proceeds from book sales on that day. Spanish language children's books can also be purchased for donation.