As a veteran of several mission type trips I would like to address Poormom's concerns. My family just paid about $1000 a person to travel to Haiti in May, and previously have traveled both to Mexico and Alaska in this capacity, at our expense. The problem with your assertion is that in may instances your acquaintance's teen may very well be more highly skilled than the available expert, and certainly less corrupt. Skilled labor of any kind is in short supply in many areas. The money so earnestly donated may have dwindled to nothing by the time the red tape clears.
My family's experience in Haiti underscores this completely. The people in the tent cities (a grave misnomer for the sticks and rags the citizens were living under) were receiving no aid. Our hours spent stapling tarps over their shelters in the rainy season changed their lives, quite literally. Those big organizations had heavy equipment there, inside of fences sitting static, and no one was distributing food or clothing. This was a smaller tent city, maybe 2500 people. We also brought hope. We prayed with people and assured them that the world cares. We played with their children, and gave children whose schools were rubble an afternoon of soccor, coloring, bubble blowing or even just running and acting like normal children for a few hours. Aid is often as much about a person's morale and spirit as it is practical skill.
And the return is worth every dollar and hour spent. They shared their joy, their goodness, their unwillingness to let this awful disaster define them as a people.
Previously we helped build a church in Mexico in a rural community. Their was no one to hire, even if they had the means. The people had all they could do to care for themselves. They received our unskilled offering joyfully.
Corporate aid is a marvelous thing, but it often does not trickle down. Roll up your sleeves and give of yourself. You will come back richer than you could have imagined.
RCCL's plan may be just the thing to help get someone thinking about what they can do.
Happy to have cruised
RCCL x 10
Princess x 1