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Atlanta volunteers make a difference in Honduras

8:20 AM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Volunteerism is a terrific way to give back and experience the world.

Right now, a dynamic group of like-minded Atlantans are doing just that. It's a commitment they've made to children in Central America.

For two decades, the group known as the Honduras Wilderness Team has left the comforts of home to go on volunteer trips.

Retired educator Dave Funderburk has rich memories of his seven trips to volunteer in Honduras. "Every place you go around the world, parents want the same thing for their children," he said.

One of Funderburk's favorite keepsakes is from last year -- a smiley face on a Popsicle stick, given to him by a first grader.

"I have it at home now, and every morning I have it in a place where when I wake up, I see this smiling face and I think of that little student," he said.

That student is one of hundreds who have benefited from the Honduras Wilderness Team's hard work in the Agalta Valley.

Twenty years ago, infrastructure was the group's focus. More recently, it has switched to teachers, curriculum,  books and supplies.

And the efforts are paying off.

"Of all the high school kids who graduated, I think there were 28, all but two got college scholarships," Bob Hope said.

Hope of the Hope Beckham public relations agency has really been the glue of this secular non-profit group.

"It may be a very tiny place, but going back every year, you're building friendships and those friendships stay with you and the people remember that you didn't forget them," he said.

The 2013 volunteers are currently in Honduras, but they are always raising funds for schools. To donate to or travel with this dynamic team, visit havefoundation.org.

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