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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Judy and Jamie Show! Volunteers in Haiti

During the month of March I had the pleasure of hosting Judy and Jamie at the H.E.R.O. Residence for Orphans in Port-au-Prince.  They joined us for a 10 day volunteer excursion to see for themselves the beauty, tragedy, and needs of Haiti.  During their 10 days they experienced everything Haiti has to offer, including earthquakes and political instability!  Most importantly, they shared their love with the children at the H.E.R.O. House and created memories that our children will never forget!

Prior to their trip to Port-au-Prince Judy and Jamie collected donations totaling nearly $2000.00 for H.E.R.O.  Jamie collected donations from her employees at the CES Machine Shop in Reno, NV, and they both hosted a dinner party at Judy’s house, where they asked for $25.00 donations to H.E.R.O.  Through their efforts they were able to raise a significant amount of donations for H.E.R.O. and also share the work of H.E.R.O. in Haiti.  For me, it is important to keep the conversation going about Haiti and the reality that the country still needs a lot of assistance.

During their stay Judy and Jamie spent the majority of their time with the H.E.R.O. children: playing, creating arts and crafts, and going to church.  Additionally they were able to visit other organizations in Haiti that are doing great work including an orphanage for children with disabilities and a locally-run afternoon school for street children.  It is important for visitors to Haiti to see that there are many small organizations doing great work in Haiti, and in reality, they often make a much more positive impact than the larger, overfunded, bureaucratic organizations that garner much of the media attention.

One night, after the children had gone to bed, we were all sitting around the kitchen table, talking about our day.  Then suddenly, a 4.6 magnitude earthquake shook the house, launching all of us towards the exit.  We hurriedly woke all of the children and took them outside, where we waited for about an hour before returning to the house.  It is scary to know that Haiti is still suffering from earthquakes after such a horrendous tragedy in 2010.

For Judy and Jamie their trip to Haiti is one they will never forget.  They had only positive things to say about H.E.R.O. and our work with the children, and are now driven to return to Reno and raise additional funds for the construction of our residence for orphans in Maniche.  I am so thankful to have friends like Judy and Jamie who are making a truly significant impact in the lives of the children we serve, even though they live far away.  Their efforts to help H.E.R.O. make a difference in the lives of children in Haiti are truly amazing.  Thank you Judy and Jamie!

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