The WorldVentures Foundation, the Plano-based nonprofit philanthropic arm of WorldVentures, more than doubled its initial fundraising goal and received a combination of commitments and donations to raise nearly $700,000 to support upcoming volunteer efforts in Guatemala.
The appeal was made on April 5, by the foundation's executive director, Gwyneth Lloyd, during WorldVentures' three-day international convention held in Fort Worth. As a result of the donations, 100 classrooms will be built in Guatemala for underserved children.
The audience of close to 9,000 WorldVentures Independent Representatives gave by texting their donations, pre-event commitments and general spontaneity while in the audience. More than 100 teams of Representatives committed to raising their funds by Oct. 1.
"What happened in the audience totally blew me away. We went in with a bold goal of $260,000 and were truly humbled by the generous support from our reps for our amazing partner Hug it Forward," said Lloyd.
The WorldVentures Foundation teams up with Hug it Forward to build eco-bottle schools in Guatemalan communities. Bottle schools are schools built using "eco-bricks" – plastic bottles filled with inorganic materials. It takes about 10,000 bottles to build one school. To date, Hug it Forward has built 37 bottle schools across communities in ruralGuatemala, and the Foundation has supported 20 of those.
"We were amazed by the continued generosity and support of the WorldVentures community. This was a historic time for our organization," said Zach Balle, president, Hug It Forward. "We're looking forward to WorldVentures Representatives coming to Guatemala to personally take part in building the school they funded."
"The fulfillment of the financial commitments will allow Hug It Forward to impact more communities and more children. With the support from WorldVentures, the speed to improve the educational requirements of these communities has been accelerated. We can help build as many schools in one year as there are, to date," Lloyd added.