Bright Light Volunteers
Authentic Experience, Profound Change
Bright Light Volunteers empowers students with the ability to design and plan their own cross-cultural experiences across the globe. We seek to help facilitate student directed and planned trips to communities that are in need of help, and we look for safe opportunities for students to do sustainable good. Not only will students develop a global backdrop for the rest of their educational and professional lives, they will also gain invaluable experience in self-directing their own projects.
Bright Light Volunteers enriches the communities it serves, and the students who serve those communities.
Our Core Organizational Beliefs
Our volunteer excursions are customized for each particular group, working with the group leaders and the host community to structure a program that benefits all involved, while staying true to our core organizational beliefs:
- Volunteering abroad provides an opportunity to experience the world in a much deeper context than traditional tourism. It facilitates a cross-cultural awareness and understanding and promotes positive change in our global community.
- The global community is more interconnected and interrelated than ever before. Ideas, customs, money, and people traverse borders daily at ever increasing speeds. When students participate in international volunteer opportunities they are able to more fully appreciate how every act, whether at home or abroad, has a profound impact on all of the world's peoples.
- Volunteer activities shall always support the goals and initiatives of the host community. Sustainability must be a central theme to every volunteer project. The idea is to go into a community and offer knowledge and manpower to get projects done, using the host community's available resources while also conserving the environment and ensuring that the community's natural resources are not depleted.
- Cross-cultural experiences promote peace and unity among the world's peoples. When one can experience the truths, both the beauties and difficulties of another way of life, one is able to take that learned experience into the world and the work force, to be agents of change in their home communities.
How Does It Work?
Because each program is planned specifically for your group, the participation contribution for the programs vary based upon which volunteer projects, cultural activities, and educational opportunities that you choose.
The participation donation covers the cost of all food, lodging, on-site transportation, on-site bilingual Bright Light Volunteers Coordinator, medical insurance, community donations, project materials, and educational / cultural activities. A Bright Light representative can help guide you to make sure that your program stays within your group's budget.
Special note — Participants are welcome to procure their own airfare for travel to the program site, but Bright Light Volunteers does have a special airfare partner and we can arrange and negotiate group fairs on your behalf. The cost associated with the airfare is separate from the program participation donation. Our staff members are happy to help guide you through this process as well. We are here to help! We offer assistance and guidance every step of the way — through the planning phase, fundraising support, during the program abroad, and helping you keep connected with your host community once you return home.
About the Founder, Catherine Greenberg
Bright Light Volunteers was founded by Catherine Greenberg. Catherine has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector and takes great pride in her work facilitating international service programs with students and educators.
Her interest in international travel began as an exchange student in Russia during high school and continued into university, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Methodist University with a degree in International Studies and Cultural Anthropology with a focus on Latin America.
The idea of Bright Light Volunteers was born after Catherine volunteered abroad with her own children, Elijah and Isabella. They have accompanied her on international service programs from the time they were 5 and 7 years old, and Catherine has seen the impact that these opportunities provide first hand.
"Seeing my children's faces light up when they are engaged in service truly moves me. We are all one global family. Mixing service initiatives with international travel opens up a world of opportunities and it allows our youth to engage in a positive way, to really make the world a brighter place."
Catherine resides in Dallas, Texas. When she is not working with volunteers she spends time serving on the board of several local nonprofits and enjoys urban farming and chicken ranching.
Read Catherine's interview with Dallas Morning News