Humanitarian Experience has run international trips for 20 consecutive years. But as a result of the pandemic, for the first time in history, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel international trips for Summer 2020. COVID-19 left thousands physically or mentally sick and also unemployed, both at home and abroad. 

Our mission has always been to change lives through service, and we saw that the need to serve in our own communities was greater than it had ever been. So, on August 29, 2020, we put together the first-ever BUILDx event. Small groups of 18 Builders were able to “show love during the time of COVID” by serving with nonprofits and other organizations to help people in need all over Utah. Before embarking on the day’s service projects, Builders got to know their fellow group members by participating in a variety of activities including scavenger hunts, sports activities, art in the park, and other fun competitive challenges. The goal was to make BUILDx feel like typical Humanitarian Experience trips—the perfect combination of fun, team bonding, service, and coming closer to Christ. 

Builders were able to experience miracles and have life-changing experiences in just one day. One Builder said, “Thank you for putting On BUILDx! I went to Tonga on an Humanitarian XP trip last year and absolutely loved it. When I found out about BUILDx, I immediately signed up. I was pleasantly surprised at how similar the feeling was! It’s crazy that in just one day I built relationships and had the opportunity to serve and feel the spirit! Thank you for putting on this event especially in this crazy time!” 

Another Builder said, “Thank you all so much for this experience. We may have done a service project but I feel like I was the one who was served. Y’all really came through with this one in such an amazingly short time frame. Humanitarian XP ROCKS!! Whether it’s going abroad or getting creative in Utah, I have definitely found Builders and Trip Leaders that will forever be my closest friends and I cannot thank y’all enough!”

This year, our Builders were able to serve the following local organizations: Bountiful Food Pantry, Carmel of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cedarwood Arabian Farms, Centro de la Familia, Charity Anywhere, Children’s Justice Service, Circles Salt Lake, City of Ogden, Family Support and Treatment Center, Centro Civico Mexicano, Children’s Justice Center, Granite Education Foundation, Holy Cross Ministries, Khadeeja Mosque, Malileh Free Clinic, Mosaic Interfaith Ministries, Mt. Nebo marathon, Murray Park, Rock Canyon Park, Seven Canyons Trust, Stitching Hearts Worldwide, Temple Har Shalom, The Road Home, The Sharing Place, Tracy Aviary, Utah Community Action and the Utah Islamic Center.

No matter where you serve in the world this year, remember, there will always be miracles.