Joelle Imholte

I think back to that first day as a Global Volunteer, nearly eight years now, and am reminded of those first butterflies as I waded into that sea of little people with big brown eyes, mile-wide smiles, coming face to face with their own curiosity. It was the day I met Augustine. It was the day my life changed.

How often do we have the privilege of remembering when “true love” took root in our lives? Here is the strange and wonderful part about Global Volunteers – my story could be your story, and for many returning volunteers it is. When I went to “be the change we wished to see in the world”, I came back forever changed – changed by my experience, changed by my connections, changed by the love that rushed through the gates and into my arms from that first day and consequently every visit since as a returning volunteer.

Of course Augustine grows and thrives, along with the many other children and adults of the hosting communities, but what was once curiosity, ‘What will it be like?’ ‘Who will I serve?’ through my Global Volunteer experience has become: ‘This is whom I will sever.’ ‘This is whom I will love.’

Joelle Imholte – 5 Time Volunteer