An Immersion Trip Will Change Your Life
The toughest trip you will ever take will be one of the greatest weeks of your life! Anyone wishing to make a life-changing trip is welcome. Go solo to create lifelong friendships or invite a whole group. Forty-three states, five provinces in Canada, and three countries overall have been represented on our trips. Lend a Hand…Change a Life!
One-week immersion trips are available to Belize and Nicaragua. Building a new home, repairing an existing house, and working with the children in Hand in Hand’s programs are all part of a week you will never forget. In Appalachia, we offer one, two or three-night trips to our Auxier Center, just outside of Prestonsburg, Kentucky. Repairing homes, building wheelchair ramps, and working with our neighbors in eastern Kentucky are parts of trips scheduled from spring through fall. In Louisville, we offer 4-hour, 8-hour, and overnight(s) experiences. Volunteers will be working with local families on home repair and community clean-up, while learning about the history and culture of West Louisville.
Who Should Go on an Immersion Trip? Our “tripsters” include individuals, families, all church groups, schools, youth groups, and businesses. We encourage all people of every faith and good will to join us on this journey. People from 43 states and a variety of countries have traveled with us. You do not need any special skills, just an open heart and open mind.
Need More Info? To learn more about us, where we go and what we do, Hand in Hand invites you to join us each month for an “Explore the Mission” Tour. It is a one-hour program to familiarize you with Hand in Hand and each of our trips. You will learn stories and be able to ask questions.
To request information, book a trip or create a group trip, please contact Allison Ridenour at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 459.9930.
Immersion Trips: Please Join Us! (Open to the Public)
|2018||Don’t See a Date that Works for You? Call Us and Create Your Own!|
|March 24||Louisville (FULL)|
|April 17||Louisville (Youth-FULL)|
|April 19||Louisville (Youth)|
|May 31-June 3||Appalachia|
|June 10-13||Appalachia (FULL)|
|August 1-4||Appalachia (FULL)|
|November 18-25||Belize (Thanksgiving trip)|
Create your own immersion trip group! Hand in Hand Ministries works with churches, schools and other organizations to schedule immersion trips. Contact the Hand in Hand office if your organization is interested in taking a group to Appalachia, Belize, Nicaragua or Louisville — let’s get your group added to the list! For more information, please contact Allison Ridenour at email@example.com or (502) 459.9930.
Closed Group Trips (Not Open to the Public): Click below to view the organizations and groups that will be traveling with us this year! We hope your group will consider joining us. (*) Denotes groups that have been traveling with Hand in Hand for over 7 years.
|February 25-March 2||Assumption High School, Louisville, KY|
|March 4-6||Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY|
|March 7-9||Holy Trinity School, Louisville, KY|
|March 14-16||Holy Spirit School, Louisville, KY|
|March 19-21||Holy Spirit School, Louisville, KY|
|March 21-23||Our Lady of Lourdes Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|April 1-4||Presentation Academy, Louisville, KY|
|April 4-7||Tri-County Disciples, KY|
|April 10-12||St. Athanasius School, Louisville, KY|
|April 18-21||St. Patrick School, Louisville, KY|
|April 27-29||Daniel’s Family & Friends, Louisville, KY|
|May 9-13||St. Vincent de Paul, Rogers, AR|
|June 5-9||Conway Group, Conway, AR|
|June 10-13||Ursuline Academy, St. Louis, MO|
|June 13-16||Sts. Boniface/Meinrad, Fulda/St. Meinrad, IN|
|June 20-23||Our Lady of Lourdes Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|June 24-27||St. Xavier High School, Louisville, KY|
|June 27-30||Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, KY|
|July 8-11||Middletown Christian Church, Louisville, KY|
|July 11-14||St. Edward/St. Francis, Louisville, KY/Liberty Twp, OH|
|July 15-18||Church of the Epiphany Youth, Louisville, KY|
|July 22-25||St. Bernadette Church Youth/St. Agnes Church Youth, Louisville, KY|
|September 6-9||Tabernacle of Worship, Brandenburg, KY|
|September 19-21||Our Lady of Lourdes Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|September 26-28||Our Lady of Lourdes Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|October 3-5||St. Stephen Martyr School, Louisville, KY|
|October 10-12||St. Mary Academy, Louisville, KY|
|October 17-19||Sacred Heart Model School, Louisville, KY|
|October 24-26||St. Patrick School, Louisville, KY|
|November 7-9||Holy Trinity Youth, Louisville, KY|
|November 12-14||Holy Spirit, Louisville, KY|
|November 14-16||Holy Spirit, Louisville, KY|
|January 7-13||Rhonemus and Marcinko Families/SCN, Hanceville, AL|
|January 14-21||Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, CO|
|January 28-February 4||Himmeger Family/SCN, WV/OH|
|February 4-11||St. Ambrose Parish/SCN|
|February 11-18||Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL|
|February 25-March 4||Assumption High School, Louisville, KY|
|March 4-11||St. John Parish/SCN, Hollywood, MD|
|March 11-18||G.Barnes/University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY|
|April 15-22||Boston College High School, Boston, MA|
|April 22-29||Vincentian Academy/SCN, Pittsburgh, PA|
|May 13-20||St. Xavier University, Chicago, IL|
|May 20-27||Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL|
|May 27-June 3||University of Scranton, Scranton, PA|
|June 3-10||Loyola School, New York City, NY|
|June 10-17||Vener Group|
|June 17-24||Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, CO|
|June 24-July 1||Middletown Christian Church High School Youth, Louisville, KY|
|July 1-8||Loyola Blakefield, Baltimore, MD|
|July 15-22||Middletown Christian Church, Louisville, KY|
|December 2-9||Missionary Ministry First Tabernacle Community Church, Chicago, IL|
|February 10||Knights of Columbus, Louisville, KY|
|February 24||St. X High School Golf Team, Louisville, KY|
|March 3-10||Boston University, Boston, MA|
|April 2-6||Immaculate Conception, Mattoon, IL|
|April 7||MOVE Realty Group, Louisville, KY|
|April 11||St. Mary Academy 6th-8th Grade, Louisville, KY|
|April 14||Middletown Christian Church, Louisville, KY|
|April 17||Middletown Christian Church Youth, Louisville, KY|
|April 19||Middletown Christian Church Youth, Louisville, KY|
|April 20||Sacred Heart Academy, Louisville, KY|
|May 7||St. Raphael School, Louisville, KY|
|June 4-9||All Saints Parish, Guilford, IN|
|June 11||Middletown Christian Church Mission Camp, Louisville, KY|
|June 18-23||St. Mark the Evangelist Church, Indianapolis, IN|
|June 26||Holy Trinity Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|June 27||Holy Trinity Youth Group, Louisville, KY|
|June 28-29||Ulster Project, Ireland|
|July 23||Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Louisville, KY|
|September 15||Linda’s Birthday Celebration, Louisville, KY|
|October 13-20||Villanova University, Villanova, PA|
|January 6-13||Fordham University, Bronx, NY *|
|January 13-21||Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation, Louisville, KY *|
|February 10-17||Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL*|
|February 24 – March 3||Our Lady of the Woods Catholic Church, Orland Park, IL|
We hope that each person will be able to bring gifts and talents to share through the work projects and be open to receiving the gifts and blessings offered by the people we will encounter. Each immersion trip should allow you to experience the beauty, goodness and unique culture in each of the places we go.
In each location, you will visit and work in the programs established by Hand in Hand or our partners in that region. Belize includes our “Building for Change” program, the Outreach Center for children marginalized by poverty and disease, and Hand in Hand’s scholarship program for high school and college students. Participants on an immersion trip primarily work to build a small home for a family. In addition, you visit sites related to the work of Hand in Hand and have various cultural experiences.
In Nicaragua, the trip includes visiting and working with the families in our “Pathway to Change” program plus helping at local preschools, serving in clinics or providing labor for family homes. Time is spent visiting with locals who share insights about life in Nicaragua. Several opportunities for cultural visits are planned.
In Appalachia (eastern Kentucky), we operate the Auxier Center where Hand in Hand organizes home repair projects in the region, provides emergency food assistance and also assist other local agencies as needed. Immersion trip participants help with home repair projects or work at our center. You will participate in local events occurring during the time of a scheduled trip.
In Louisville, Urban Immersion is Hand in Hand’s newest program devoted to building relationships in our hometown. This program asks volunteers to work with local residents on community projects, take part in area activities and eat at homegrown restaurants. The program hopes to attract local volunteers, corporations and nationwide groups to provide a variety of service in Louisville from one-day service experiences to weeklong immersion trips.
Abilities and Limitations: Hand in Hand Ministries does try to tailor trips to the abilities and talents of individuals, however, because these trips might involve physical labor and very high temperatures that can be dangerous for those with health limitations. Hand in Hand Ministries also reserves the right to disallow an individual to participate in a trip for any reason at any time prior to the group’s departure.
Youth Trips: Special arrangements may be made for youth groups (groups of youth 12-17 years of age) to participate in immersion trips with their church or school for special service programs. Youth must be accompanied by the appropriate number of adults who possess the skill and authority to properly supervise young people both during work assignments and in their free time.
Universities: Trips planned with various universities are handled differently. Universities wanting to plan a trip should contact Allison Ridenour at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 459.9930 preferably one year in advance. Participation in any immersion trip is for the purposes of advancing the mission of Hand in Hand Ministries. Therefore, all final decisions regarding participation in, scheduling of, and activities scheduled rests with the Hand in Hand directors.
Ideally, trip participants will also have attended an “Explore the Mission” tour to learn about the entire operation of Hand in Hand Ministries. Groups who wish to plan an immersion trip with Hand in Hand usually begin planning at least a year in advance. The first step is to contact Allison Ridenour email@example.com or (502) 459.9930 to schedule a date on the calendar.
Periods such as winter and spring breaks fill quickly. The group leader will need to provide e-mail contact information so that a record of all communications can be kept.
Appalachia (eastern KY): Cost $250 per person for half week Trips generally begin Sunday evening and conclude Wednesday at noon or Wednesday evening until Saturday at noon Wednesday through Saturday afternoon. We also have the options for shorter or longer stays during non-peak months. Final payments are required 2 weeks prior to the start of the trip.
Belize and Nicaragua: Cost $2,300 per person* Hand in Hand generally accepts up to 14 participants per trip. We reserve the right to cancel any trip if the required number of participants (8-10) do not confirm reservations and make a deposit within 60 days of travel. To confirm intent to participate in a foreign immersion trip, participants need to turn in forms and the deposit (50% of the trip cost) by the due date (determined by airline confirmation requirements). Final payment is to be made one month prior to departure.
Louisville: A variety of options are available
A half day experience (4 hours) is $25 – this includes lunch, building materials and a Hand in Hand t-shirt. A full day experience (7 hours) is $40, which includes the previously mentioned items. An overnight trip is $75, which includes the mentioned materials, plus lodging. Finally, our 5-7 day Urban Immersion experience is $300. This includes everything mentioned, plus a welcome meal and cultural activities.
* (1) Price is subject to change as airline prices, fuel and cost of work projects increase. (2) Family discounts are available. (3) Pricing for universities, high schools or church groups vary depending on the point of origin.
NOTE: University representatives need to contact the Hand in Hand home office generally one year in advance to begin planning a program designed to accommodate your university interests, schedule and pricing.
Please contact Allison Ridenour at firstname.lastname@example.org or (502) 459.9930
There are a variety of cultural activities you can experience after working hard on the house. In Nicaragua you’ll visit the Masaya Volcano, see pottery made at San Juan de Oriente, or go the Pacific Ocean to surf. In Belize, you’ll get to enjoy the island of Caye Caulker, snorkeling, or even zip-lining over the tree-tops.
Although we may seem higher in price than other options, we truly believe in the value of our immersion experiences. We also provide comfortable lodging for you to relax in the air-conditioning in Belize or float in the pool in Nicaragua after a hard day’s work. Hand in Hand focuses on building communities in the locations we serve, while also educating volunteers and providing opportunities to experience the local culture, through work, food and fun!
(1) Price is subject to change as airline prices, fuel and cost of work projects increase. (2) Family discounts are available. (3) Pricing for universities, high schools or church groups vary depending on the point of origin. Please note that you will need additional money for some cultural activities, one or two meals and souvenirs.
Hand in Hand Ministries is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, so the fees you pay for an immersion trip with us are generally eligible for a U.S. federal income tax deduction.
You will receive an official acknowledgement from Hand in Hand Ministries for your contribution, but if you have any questions about the deductibility, we recommend you consult with a tax professional.
- A sample letter of request for financial support as well as information to provide to supporters.
- Contributors will receive a “thank you” letter that serves as a tax receipt from Hand in Hand Ministries.
- We can set up fundraising pages. If you are interested in this please contact Darian at email@example.com or (502) 439.9930.
- Participants are requested not to distribute or promise any money or goods to anyone without approval of the Hand in Hand representative on site.
- No tips, gratuities or gifts are to be given to Hand in Hand employees unless instructed.
- All donations to any of our partners must be made through the Hand in Hand office.
- All requests for schedule changes or deviations from the itinerary are to be approved by the staff representative on site.
- Individuals are not to distribute any literature that has not been pre-approved by the CEO of Hand in Hand Ministries.
- Participants are not to leave the work/ministry site where the group is assigned without express knowledge of the staff representative on site.
“He had years of talking locked up inside of him. He just wanted someone to hear his story. I think fixing his house was next to having one of use sit and let him tell about his mother how much she was loved.” – William G.
“My favorite moment of the trip was on the final day at the work site when we had out final prayer as a group. The family was so thankful and appreciative…I will never forget it.” – Matthew B.
“Getting to spend time with the people of the community and building relationships with all the people.” – Julia C.
“[It was] when all of the walls were up and the two girls stood waving to us as we were leaving with the biggest smiles on their faces.” – Kelsy B.