Korien Sampson and her children are heading to Mexico next week to join several members of the Morinville Rotary Interact Club on a missions trip.

by Stephen Dafoe

The Sampson family will be packing up this week for a one-week trip to Mexico, but unlike many Albertans heading for a winter’s trip to warmer climes, the Sampsons are joining the Morinville Rotary Interact group, a separate youth-wing of the Morinville Rotary Club, on a humanitarian missions trip.

Korien Sampson and her children Kenneth (22), Stacey (20), Victoria (17), and Kimberly (16) leave for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Feb. 7 to assist local organizations working with low-income families. Sampson said the volunteers will spend two days at La Fuente Church helping with painting and other activities, and will also work with Familias de la Esperanza (Families of Hope), an organization working for families that are currently living in shacks within and around a closed garbage dump.

“We’re going to be working with them in various capacities, helping them with lunch, teaching English and what have you,” Korien Sampson said.

The project is spearheaded by the Rotary Interact Club. Sampson said her family, none of whom are Rotarians, will join five Rotary Interact members and liaison Kathy Sandmaier.

“She [Kathy Sandmaier] needed more kids to go on this missions trip, and it was something my oldest son Kenneth had gone on before. He loved it and had a great time. It is an eye-opening experience for the kids, which is something I definitely like about missions trip. Stacey has gone on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic and worked with the Luke Society on building a hospital and playground there.

The Sampsons talked about the idea together as a family. Daughters Victoria and Kimberly, Sampsons youngest children, were eager to take part, and all five family members found the idea appealing.

“I thought this would be a great opportunity as a family because I’ve never been on a missions trip since forever. This is a great way to bond as a family, and we get to do it as a family getaway type idea,” Sampson said.

The family are carrying the costs of the trip themselves, but see it as worthwhile to get together and to give back.

“Even the Rotary kids have been saving for the last two years, doing some events around town,” Sampson said, adding her own family has just started fundraising for their trip. “My kids are collecting pop bottles, and we are doing a Scentsy fundraiser on Facebook.”

It’s all about giving back

In a world Sampson sees as focused on the self, missions trips are an opportunity to break from that world.
“I want my kids to go because this society is all about me, at least that’s the way I see it,” she said. “There is not enough giving back to the community, and so I want my kids to know just how fortunate we are where we live. These people [we are helping] don’t have that luxury. That’s why missions trips, in my mind are great for kids.”

Sampson’s daughter Kimberley said she is looking forward to lending a hand to those who need one.
“It has to do with helping little kids, and I think they really need it. It’s really important to help out the community.”

But there is more than bringing their skills and compassion, the Interact members and the Sampsons will be bringing school supplies, including construction paper, scissors, colouring pencils, crayons and other supplies. Sampson said each person is allowed one humanitarian suitcase up to 50 pounds.

Donations can be dropped off at the Morinville Farmers’ Market this Friday. Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the Sampsons’ trip expenses can contact Korien Sampson at 780-934-2379.

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