With the help of a few friends from university, Miguel founded SJMF in 2010. He has worked so hard over the past years to ensure SJMF lives up to all that it was meant to be. Miguel is responsible for all that takes place in the Dominican Republic, including scoping out potential project sites for upcoming groups, organizing all of the build sites, as well as ensuring that all of the groups have all the supplies they need for a fun and successful experience! Miguel now lives in the Dominican Republic full time and has dedicated all of his time and hard work to this foundation. He quickly becomes friends with all those whom he meets, and isn't afraid to crack a joke to lighten up any mood. Thanks Miguel for building such a fun and rewarding experience!
Mike joined SJMF in 2011 as one of our youngest volunteers ever. He quickly brought the charity to Wilfrid Laurier university where it expanded into both of their campuses and beyond to other schools around Ontario. After graduating, Michael quickly got hired on by Unilever where he currently works fulltime. Mike plans to bring his business acumen to SJMF with the hopes of taking the charity to new heights in the coming years. An avid outdoors man he makes time for adventure whenever he can get away from his heavy work schedule. If you are lucky you may see him down in the Caribbean swinging a hammer or drinking a beer in the small town of San Jose De Ocoa, We are thrilled to have him on board as our President.
Ahhhh Manauri. Where do we begin? His humour and hilarity keeps everyone laughing and smiling - any group would be truly lucky to have him on their worksite! Manauri has been involved with SJMF since before it all began. He is always willing to take time out of his busy schedule to prepare for a group’s arrival and spend time with each group when they come. Manauri works to make sure each volunteer is happy and involved in the work, as well as ensuring everyone takes part in the dancing - that is, after taking a small dance lesson from the professional himself! Often the highlight of people's trip, we all appreciate Manauri’s hard work and dedication and can always look forward to our time spent with him!
Our dear friend Juan is like the second father-figure in the SJMF family. He is the backbone that holds us all together and his spirit can never be crushed. Juan works so hard and commits himself fully to each project he is presented with, refusing to stop working until it is completed and fulfills his expectations. His hands have built many a home and we are all so lucky and grateful to have Juan as part of our family. As a highly respected man in the city of Ocoa, Juan is always looking out for others and ensuring that everyone else around him is happy. There is never a lack of love pouring from Juan’s heart, and we are sure to send the all of that love right back to him! Find Juan swinging his hammer at the worksite, or relaxing with a rum after a long hard day
No stranger to SJMF, Sandy Hodson served as the first ever SJMF intern after 2 years of volunteering with university trips. Her hard work and dedication have been invaluable to us over the past years. When she is not romping around Europe she is exploring the great white north, and yet, she still finds lots of time to volunteer down south as well. Sandy's excellent people skills and friendly nature combined with her high level of education and love of the earth has made her an obvious choice for the Executive Team
Founding member and Western University graduate Brittany Kruter, has been a part of the SJMF since 2009. Her affinity for hard work and social aid allowed her to, volunteer, lead groups, and eventually participate in the exec levels of SJMF as the Program Coordinator. On top of working all the hours in a day and being a Big Sister, Brittany ensures that all group leaders are prepped and organized before their departure, offering fundraising and planning tips. Brittany’s connection and commitment to the organization is incredible and admirable. Brittany manages to make everyone around her feel that extra motivation to do the best job they can.
Jenna Hibbert has been volunteering in the Dominican Republic the better part of a Decade! Her incredible good will has inspired countless people to volunteer including the founders of SJMF which eventually led to its formation. School psychologist by day and charity fundraiser by night you may confuse Jenna for a real life super hero, in which case you would be right because she also finds time for a rich family and social life, a great deal of reading and study, and taking care of her husband Hugh. SJMF would not be what it is without Jenna we are honored to have her on our team. Jenna does so much for SJMF from managing our donations to fixing all of the everyday problems that occur behind the scenes, and we cannot thank her enough for her dedication
The best food anyone in the world will ever eat in their lives will be prepared by the hands of a lovely woman named Eli. We are so fortunate here at SJMF to have the best cook in all of Ocoa working with us to make sure that everyone is well fed and happy! Nothing but the best of the best is served to all group members, and it would not be possible without Eli’s hard work! Eli makes sure that our tummies are filled with the freshest and most delicious foods and we are ever-grateful for that. Basically, we love Eli and our love for her will never end!
Resident to the small town of Limon. Nelly has been cooking with SJMF for 5 years. A delight to have around, she is an adept cook in both Canadian and Dominican style cooking. Nelly is also guilty of having a big heart, she often lends her home for SJMF groups to stay at when they come to build. Which gives volunteers the chance to get to know her husband and two lovely granddaughters.