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Merry Christmas

We would like to wish all of a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

This has been another successful year thanks to your generous donations and unwavering support. We reduced our expenses by sending funds on a quarterly basis instead of monthly. Those funds covered expenses for the parish, school tuition, teacher & school staff salaries, and the salary for the sewing school instructor.

We are very excited about our end of year projects.  For the first time in our 7 year history we are able to not only help the parish but also all three of Father’s chapels. There is a trade school in Hinche that teaches welding, mechanics, and cabinet making.

Learning auto mechanics

We will sponsor 9 people; 3 from the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2 each from LaBeque, Cherival and Cour Cadichon. At $200 per person per year for a two year program you can’t beat the price. We will get a report on progress of the students at the end of year one. We will also be increasing our monthly stipend to provide for a fair wage for the teachers at LaBeque and for the teachers at the new school at Cherival.

You might recall 2 years ago the chapel at Cherival had a stick frame for the beginning of their church and school. Cherival prior to tin roof

We were able to provide a tin roof to give them some protection. We are happy to say the people of Cherival started an elementary school in the same structure. Conditions are primitive to be sure. To make things a little more school like we will be providing desks, blackboards and the all important outhouse.

School children at Cherival

All this is made possible because of your generosity. There are still a couple of weeks left in this year to make that last minute contribution. Don’t hesitate – Donate today. https://abcforhaiti.org/donate/

Merry Christmas from our families to yours!

Business as Usual

Although I have been lax in keeping up with the blogs I assure you that during this time we have been doing business as usual. Monies have continued to flow to the parish in support of the pastor, the teachers, and the sewing school.

However, things ended up slightly different than what I reported in my last blog. The well for LaBeque project was taken on by another Haitian group out of Florida.  We agreed to this realizing it would leave us funds for other community projects.  The sewing school resumed when Fr. Nova was able to find someone who could repair the sewing machines by combining two unusable machines to make one dependable machine and then adding a hand crafted work surface.  He was also able to acquire an experienced sewing instructor to teach the students.

Another major change this year has been a change in pastors. Father Nova, in obedience to his Bishop has agreed to come to the states and further his education so that once he receives his degree he may take on the day to day responsibilities of caring for the Diocesan University located just outside the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

Our new Pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary is Fr. Fitho Jean.  Father Fitho just recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his priesthood on May 6, 2017.  Father has spent the last 4 years studying at the Pontifical Bible Institute, Rome.  He is the eldest of 4 children, has a sister who is a doctor, another sister in High School and his younger brother was tragically killed during the earthquake of 2010.

We are happy to welcome him to the parish. We have already begun discussing the needs of the people.

Thank you for your continued support and care of the poor in Haiti.  Business as Usual can only be maintained by your generous donations and continually adding new donors.  You are our best form of communication. Encourage your family and friends to sign up for a  $20 per month donation, that’s only 66 cents per day.  Most of us can afford that.  Remember 95% of your donation goes directly to support our programs.

God Bless

Art

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish-Haiti

Just back from my annual visit to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sapaterre and would like to combine the results of my visit with a reflection on this past year and what we have been able to accomplish.

As in the past this was a good visit, short but productive. Father and I had some time to chat about business and what he felt was needed in the parish and to discuss some situations that have arisen since my last visit.  I was able to spend time visiting the people in their homes.  There is an area directly across the street from the parish that I usually visit first and then as we make our way into Hinche, via foot because in Haiti we do as the Haitians do, we stop at just about every home on the way to say hello, see how they are doing and to take photos.

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

Then of course there are the school children, they’re always fun to goof around with.  Kids are kids no matter where you go.

Fr. Nova at All Saints - Mesa, AZ

Fr. Nova at All Saints – Mesa, AZ

  • 2016 started off with a visit from Father Nova to our organization in Mesa, Arizona. It was a very good visit. While here, Father con-celebrated Mass at our home parish of All Saints, donations were accepted after Mass and the parishioners of All Saints were very generous. We had a dinner with Haitian rice & beans, chicken, salad and Haitian Rum cake made with rum imported from Haiti for about 60 people. Our Men’s Ministry held a pancake breakfast and donated all their profit to ABC for Haiti, and our Knights of Columbus council 9485 donated 50% of their raffle proceeds to ABC for Haiti.
  • We have taken responsibility for keeping the parish school operating by supporting the income requirements of the 9 teachers, 1 principal, 1 secretary, 2 cleaning crew members and 3 cooking staff personnel.
  • We sponsor tuition for 50 children.
  • We have begun the long and tedious task of drilling a well for water as close as possible to the chapel school at LaBeque, this school has 400 children and no water nearby. The geological survey has been taken and we are waiting results. Once we have results we will decide where to drill and hopefully very soon there will be water for the community of LaBeque.
Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

  • We continue to provide a monthly income for the parish to use as necessary.
  • We did have to temporarily discontinue the sewing school. The machines were not up to the job and we are searching for quality machines. As soon as we have them we will start up again. Unfortunately doing business in Haiti can be quite slow. As you can imagine it is very difficult for us to locate items like sewing machines in Haiti, and with Father being so far from Port-Au-Prince it is difficult for him to find the time to get there and when he does his time is taken up by a variety of tasks.

I try to keep these to one page so before I go I would just like to thank you for your support this past year and if you should by any chance need an additional tax write off, or you’re feeling a little more generous this time of year or you’re just so proud of what we have accomplished with your help we certainly would welcome anything more you can do. There is so much more to be done!  Oh! and wouldn’t you rather help someone other than Uncle Sam??

Click here to donate: http://abcforhaiti.org/one-time-donation/

It’s That Time of Year Again

Attention

Line Up – Remember when?

Preparing for Mass

Preparing for Mass

Heading home

New Back Packs for everyone

New coat of paint at the parish school

New coat of paint at the parish school

New benches

New benches

It’s that time of year again, not only here in the U.S. but in Haiti as well. Summer is unofficially over and school is in session. September 7 marked the first day of school at LaBeque, a chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary.

This past week, September 14 marked the first day of school at the parish school, Our Lady of the Rosary, at Sapaterre.

Father Nova and I generally keep in touch on Sunday mornings and when I e-mailed him he was on his way to LaBeque to pray the Mass with the children for the start of their new school year. The pictures above are of the children of LaBeque in formation, getting ready for Mass in the church and wearing their new school backpacks. This year each of the children received a backpack, donated from another charitable organization. The children were very happy to have them and Father Nova was very happy for them, as are we. All total between LaBeque and Our Lady of the Rosary schools, 500 backpacks were given to the students.

Father was also able to arrange for a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the parish school, you might remember back in February this year myself along with Mike and Doug made a trip to Our Lady of the Rosary and along with several locals painted the inside of the class room, and with our help Father was able to replace 20 school benches with brand new ones.

While we are very happy for the start of school and the gifts given, it is not that time of year for the chapel at Chereval. We are a little saddened that we are still unable to start even a small school at Chereval. If you remember from previous blogs, when I visited them in February this year their only request was a school for their children. They know the way out of poverty is through education. They didn’t ask for money, they didn’t ask for clothing, not even food. All they wanted and still want is a place for their children to begin getting an education – a hand up, not a hand out.

Between the chapels of  Chereval and Cour Cadichon, there are probably another 300 plus children in need of an education. Wouldn’t it be nice next year to say It’s That Time of Year for Our Lady of the Rosary and all 3 of the chapels assigned to Father Nova?

With God’s Grace and your support all things are possible.

God Bless

Art

Service to the Poor in Haiti

 

 

DSC_0497          DSC_0467

Service to the Poor in Haiti

As we enter our 5th year of service to the poor in Haiti, I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank all of you for your continued support and trust.   People are very skeptical of what happens to the monies they donate, where do they actually go, are they really being used for the good for which they were intended or are they being siphoned off by corrupt individuals or being used to pay off corrupt government officials whose sole purpose is to enrich their own lives and not the lives of the people they have been elected to serve?  These are hard questions and they tend to harden our hearts, and to close our purse strings.  And who can blame anyone – it’s all we seem to hear or read about.  But I remind you dear friends these stories and instances are a small part of what happens.  There are still many good people and organizations that are doing good work in your neighborhoods and around the world.

We encourage you; don’t let these negative stories have an effect on your generosity toward others.  Be cautious, research the organizations you wish to donate to, don’t take for granted just because they are a major organization that your money is being used wisely.  Don’t assume either that just because an organization is small or fairly new that your money is being wasted.  Make sure the organization and their mission is not only what you wish to support but that they are indeed a registered not-for profit organization and that depending on your tax status, your donation may be tax deductible.  Just because an organization helps others does not necessarily mean they have required the proper governmental approval for tax deductible status.

As a quick example, I received a phone solicitation one evening and the cause seemed like one I could support.  When I was asked to stay on the line and someone would get with me to collect my information, I realized I had not asked a very important question.  When the person came on the line I asked them what percentage of my donation would actually go to the cause I was willing to support?  The reply; 15%, that’s correct only 15% of my donation would go to this cause.  I politely told her I would not support them based on this fact.

One of the things we at ABC for Haiti are proud of is our ability to insure 95+% of your support goes directly to the people we serve.  Very little is spent on administrative products.  Our activities and our travels are all paid by the individual; we don’t take one penny to support these activities.  Yes, it is a burden on us but it is part of our commitment to keep our cost down and also a means of keeping us connected to our work – one doesn’t spend his personal finances on something that is not beneficial – serving the poor has its blessings.

We need your help!  In order for any organization to be successful it must grow and I’m not ashamed to admit this has not been a banner year so far.  There is much work to be done in the parish and to help educate, feed, and improve the health of the people we serve.  To do this we need two areas of growth, one, we need at least another 50 good souls to sign on as monthly donors with a minimum of $20 per month.  Second, we need more people who out of the goodness of their heart will make a one time or sporadic significant donations during the year to help our cause.  The monthly donors help us maintain the everyday parish life and the one time or sporadic donors help us fund the special projects.  For those of you who sponsor children for school now is the perfect time to send in your $59 donation.  Donate by clicking on programs above and choosing School Tuition Program.

How can you help?  Talk to your family, friends and co-workers about us and help them understand we are an organization you support and hope they will follow your lead.  Ask your employer if they have matching contributions, it’s a great way to increase your donation and it’s a very simple process for us to provide the information they need.  Our team is always willing to talk to any group of interested persons, whether it is a group of people gathered at your home, an organization you belong to or even your employer.  Lastly, take a look at your donation, your situation, is it possible you have room in your budget to increase your current donation?

We’ve been on the radio, on an early morning news show, and in several local papers.  There is nothing like a personal testimony from you and a meeting with us to help others understand the need and to have a close personal relationship with a group they are happy to support.

As always you are all in our daily prayers and we are sincerely thankful for your support and trust as we look forward to another year serving God’s poor in Haiti.

God Bless all you do!

Art

Next week – A New School Year Begins