Christian Central Academy students travel to Dominican Republic

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Seeing how the rest of the world lives can change you.

Twenty-three seniors from Christian Central Academy, CCA, raised thousands of dollars to pay to go on a mission of mercy to the Dominican Republic.

In the midst of the poverty and pain, the students found hope.

“Here in Buffalo, we see poor people, but I’ve never seen poverty as bad as it is over there,” Allison Balk said. “Their kids don’t have food…they have absolutely nothing, and yet they’re so happy.”

Brandon Gonzalez says the week in the Caribbean country was special. “You go to the sheds. They only have one bed, and there’s a bunch of kids – like 12 kids in one bed – just sharing.”

Sharing yet smiling. Tyler McFadden and his classmates helped plant gardens. “We just did what we could to try to help everyone around. Like the garden – we just tried to do our best to supply them with vegetables and food – so we were able to bless them with that,” McFadden told News 4. The elderly at a nursing home will benefit from the food.

Emily Parlato says just spending time with the kids here meant the most to her. “We are so blessed in what we have, and we take it so much for granted, and we don’t realize how little other people have and how good we have it here.”

The students also visited a girls’ orphanage and ministered to families at a school for children who are poor. The senior class from CCA makes this trip every spring. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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