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Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Haitian Christmas Story of Tragedy, Hope, and Triumph

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     As this holiday season reaches full-swing I often find myself too busy to reflect on the previous twelve months, a year that has been filled with many challenges, but also many achievements.  When H.E.R.O. welcomed our first orphans this past January, none of us imagined the impact we would have on the lives of the children in our care.  As a result of your support, and the hard work of our staff, H.E.R.O. is making a difference in the lives of orphans in Haiti. 

     Let me share with you a story about a child I met last year, and the impact that H.E.R.O. has made in his life.  His successes during the past year at the H.E.R.O. Residence for Orphans continue to inspire my efforts to serve the most disenfranchised youth of Haiti.

                His name is Franky.

     I found Franky in squalid conditions, living in a dirt floor, one room house, covered with a dilapidated tarp that was of no use every time it rained, rendering the floor a flooded, muddy, mess.  It was here that I found Franky, an orphan that had lost both parents and was suffering needlessly.

     Franky’s father died from a medical condition when he was just a toddler, leaving him with his mother and abusive boyfriend.  Tragedy struck Franky’s life again, on January 12th, 2010, when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti.  Franky was trapped under the rubble of a concrete wall that collapsed onto him.  Strangers rushed to Franky’s rescue, removing the debris around him, and dragging him to safety.

     Franky wasn’t seriously injured, so he immediately ran to his home, where to his horror, he found his mother dead, a victim of the earthquake.

      Franky has been at the H.E.R.O. Residence for Orphans nearly twelve months, and while he has a long road ahead of him to recover fully from the effects of losing both of his parents and the emotional scars from the earthquake, he is making great progress. 

     For the first time in his life Franky is enrolled in school, receiving quality healthcare, three nutritious meals a day, and rehabilitative services.  Most importantly, he is in a safe, secure, and loving environment, a home where Franky can be a kid again to live out his dreams of being a teacher, to give back to the community he came from.

     Every day I am introduced to orphans in Haiti that desperately need our help.  I need your help to continue providing the housing, education, and rehabilitation that these children deserve.  Your gift, no matter how large or small, helps to provide a safe and secure home, daily meals, quality healthcare, and a great education for a child in need.  With your help, we can turn tragedy into triumph.


Steven M. Kirby, Ed.D

Click Here To Make A Donation To H.E.R.O.

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