We had the good fortune of connecting with Alicia Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alicia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
So, I come from immigrant parents . . . they literally didn’t have anything, and they built everything they have. My dad actually had a cleaning business, and he also did real estate — he was able to save up his money and invest in multiple properties. So, I came from an entrepreneurial background. But also in the Dominican Republic, a lot of people have their own businesses, even if you’re selling coconuts or beans or rice or whatever. So, I think it always sparked my interest in that. But also, a big part of it was — how can this help someone else? My father was always big in that. Whatever we did, whatever we had, we always thought about others as well. And our impact towards them . . . and, you know, the American dream is about that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We are a volunteer community. Our vision is to provide life-changing volunteer experiences and matching communities to causes around the globe! We want to cultivate a socially conscious mindset that provides a time-shared approach for generations to come. Not just people overseas because we have so much work to do right here in our backyards. Encouraging parents to teach their children about social good so they are not raising entitled privileged little brats (yes said I that) I am a mom and I just kept realizing every part of my life and what I want for my daughter and all the children in this world that will grow up with her.
Educators and students and how learning doesn’t have to be defined by the walls of an establishment and how culture and people can give you the best life experiences. How small business owners can make an impact in their business model even if it’s a buy one give one approach or just rooting for what they believe in. Avid travelers who can explore the world differently and how they can change someone’s life but change their own life just with time shared experiences and seeing how the world really work beyond governments and statistics.
We listen to people’s needs, dreams, and plans. Then, we mobilize volunteers to work hand-in-hand with them on their community’s vision to serve youth and families whether virtually or in person.
We are like the match.com for volunteering on our platform. We will also provide guided trips with a small group of travelers to assist a community in need. These communities are not housed by organizations, and they can be locally within the United States or internationally. We want to add value never take anything away from people.
We want to help empower these communities and make it a time-shared experience. A percentage of any profits from Dear God goes into our Impact Microgrants.
I remember volunteering in the Dominican Republic with a doctor and he always asked for a small application fee from office patients (super small). I remember him putting envelopes every Saturday he would divide it for syringes/ gauze, gas enough to go to the countryside and back and envelope to pick up food from a local restaurant and the other envelopes he would hand it to the four families he was going to see for that day. It wasn’t much but he taught me that no matter what I did in my life always give a little bit of what I get.
We were launching before COVID with hopes for our first trip to be in my homeland country in the Dominican Republic and local efforts in different cities like Denver, LA, Miami, Dallas, NY but we had to shift gears quickly and it forced us to look at helping others in a powerful way.
It’s like someone telling you to build a lake but you only have a cup of water. But if I contacted 100 people and ask them to pour one cup of their own no one can tell me it’s impossible to build a lake because our cups of water will surely add as we keep adding people. So, although our concept shifted my purpose didn’t.
It was hard then and as we grow honestly it gets harder. It’s not easy to launch a community and you’re wondering if people truly want to help or are they just doing it for the gram or a quick Tik Tok snap.
The ability to not being able to go to places and actually promote and only relying on technology 100% is scary! So many people who need help don’t have internet a computer and they rely on public Wi-Fi for cell phone connection.
I am optimistic for the future and that’s because I have a 2-year-old that keeps me going and I have a unicorn that lives inside of me that doesn’t let me get too sad and when I do get sad because the unicorn takes a vacation sometimes, I hang on to my faith in God. I think the world has changed and will never be the same and travel will never be the same and vaccines and healthcare, the government, nonprofits, and the list goes on but what will always stay the same is the insane amount of people in the world that need help in some way and that’s where my focus is at.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So, for sure Garden Room Restaurant, Forzo Storcio in Midtown and South City Kitchen for the best southern food! Let’s not forget a little shopping in Buckhead.I am also a mom of a toddler, so Georgia Aquarium hands down is literally the perfect place for all my mom besties! Plus, if you are a crafter or sewing enthusiast, I recommend Melanated Fabrics & Creative Center in Midtown.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would say to all our change makers in the world! Starting with our grant recipients.