Student encourages international volunteer work


Many students go on mission trips, helping people in the local community, but only a few are willing to step out of their comfort zone and do volunteering in another country.

Now that summer is approaching, some students may be looking for volunteering or traveling opportunities.

Junior Scott Ring went to Haiti for a week during May of last year.

“It was a trip through an organization called OH4F, Open Hands for the Fatherless,” Ring said. “We went to Gonaives, Haiti.”

Ring found inspiration through his youth group leader.

“She had gone to Haiti two times already and told us all about how amazing it was,” Ring said. “She inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and I decided it might be good to try something new.”

Ring’s main concern was getting sick while there.

“But to be honest, I was definitely more excited than scared,” Ring said.

Ring went with a small group of Americans and they spent their week working with the kids at an orphanage.

“One of my more memorable experiences was playing soccer with the village children and the orphans,” Ring said. “We also helped fix a water well that was going dry.”

Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in the world and volunteers are greatly appreciated.

“There is no government in Haiti so it is run by the United Nations,” Ring said. “The streets are hardly streets and there are hardly any traffic lights.”

Having this experience in Haiti helped Ring realize how abundant resources are in the United States.

“People in the United states don’t even realize how good they have it and the opportunities they are blessed with each day,” Ring said. “Haiti does not have the resources for the everyday person to be able to improve their own lives.”

Ring believes volunteering in a different country can be a life changing experience.

“I think an experience like this would help a lot of people be happier with what they have,” Ring said. “It also helps people be more respectful to others, and it would give them a reason to help out those who are less fortunate more often.”

Ring is considering having a similar trip sometime in the future.

“I would love to go back to Haiti again or even go to Africa for future mission work,” Ring said.

For students who are interested in doing mission work in another country, Ring suggests looking into the Open Hands for the Fatherless organization.

“Open Hands for the Fatherless has recently opened a center in Hays for their volunteer work,” Ring said. “If anyone is interested in the volunteer work they do they can go to or their Facebook page.  It is a religious organization and it’s a really cool.”