This one Millennial is changing lives a thousand miles away from home

If you were to turn on the evening news, no matter what part of the world you live in, you can be sure it will leave you a little depressed. Our world faces many problems that we as human beings can’t seem to collectively acknowledge, let alone solve.

Political hatred, religious extremism, environmental apathy, economic inequality, the list goes on and on. While most of us sit and wait in vain for the world to change around us, we mustn’t forget those on the front-lines trying to make the world a better place. It is in these people after all, not our politicians, pundits or media that real hope can be found. Sometimes you don’t have to look too far either. You may even find them in your own family, as I did.

Throughout my own life, I had always rejected conformity, protested injustice and looked at the world with a sense of empathy and understanding. I refused to be just another sheep in the herd and tried to live my life different from others, but I didn’t truly know what living life different meant until I got to know my cousin.

Jaymi Weishar knows how to live different, she is barely out of high school and has done more to change the world than most of us do in our entire lives, and she does it one family at a time. How many sixteen year old teenagers do you know are willing to spend time away from their family and friends in order to build homes for the less fortunate? What if I told you Jaymi wanted to start even younger?

At the tender age of thirteen, a charitable organization called “Live Different” came to her Jr. High and did a moving presentation about getting involved in “Live Different Builds.” The goal of these builds are to build homes or help build schools in the four places Live Different operates: Haiti, Thailand, Dominican Republic, and Mexico.

Live Different picks the families they build homes for on each trip through a certain vetting process, then helps provide these families with a roof over their head or place to learn. For Jaymi, these trips create relationships with other volunteers, staff, and the families of that particular country.

Naturally Miss Weishar was a little young the first time Live Different came calling, but when she reached high school there was no stopping her. She has now been volunteering through Live Different for the past two years.

Jaymi has already gone on two build trips to Mexico, her first being in the summer of 2014. The second time around she returned as an intern with more responsibility in the summer of 2015. Having just graduated high school this past spring, she intends to go on her third build in autumn, but this time in the Dominican Republic.

I had asked her why she decide to dedicate a significant portion of your youth to helping others in need. She replied with an answer that would put a smile on anyone’s face:

“Wanting to help people in need has always been something I have wanted to do, I just didn’t know how. Once I got back from my first trip I realized that I may not be able to change the world, but through actions like these trips I can change the lives of those families and give them the homes that they need but are unable to create for themselves due to poverty. I didn’t expect the trip to have such an impact on me, however when I got home, I was in a funk for quite a while. I believe that I was in this funk because all I wanted to do was go back and build more houses. I was amazed at how much people take for granted, and I didn’t want to be that person. To see the faces on the family as they open up their new home is the reason I keep going back.”

Asked whether she will peruse similar charitable projects as an adult, Jaymi said she was looking to study International Development at Trent University. “Once I get a degree I would like to do more charitable work and help as many people as I can. The best part about having that degree will be being able to have a job that keeps me passionate about work and doing what I love to do.”

Jaymi went on to say that she would work with any charity that goes places and helps out first hand. She refuses to work a desk job, and wants to be out there helping others and getting to make these unbreakable bonds with all different types of people. Now I’m truly envious!

But first thing’s first. Build number three in the Dominican Republic! Please donate to Jaymi’s Live Different build in order to help buy supplies, furniture, and food which go directly to the family. The more donations she receives, the more money that can be used to buy the things every home needs.

If you are reading this and want to make a difference as Jaymi does, but are unable to go on trips and build these homes yourself, I highly recommend you donate to this cause. At least you know where your money is going and what it’s going to do.

As a member of Generation X, I’ve been told countless times by Baby Boomers and those within my own generation just how lazy, spoiled and unmotivated Millennials can be. I can only hope, now that you’ve read Jaymi’s story that you’ll be walking away with a different point of view.

We’re all proud of her, but pride alone doesn’t build homes. If this lowly website can give, surely you can too… Donate here:

For more information on Live Different, please visit their website:

Live Different 1 Live Different 3 Live Different, Jaymi Weishar


  1. Great piece. Amazing kid. Awesome charitable program. The future is in good hands. I am letting myself imagine this is how the late Jo Cox got her start. Great foot steps to follow in for the Build Different organization and the people it is inspiring.

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