Saturday, June 4, 2011

Surprise, surprise, SUPPLIES!

Kathy (left) unpacking the supplies for the blind school

A blind giving a math lesson using the new materials

As is customary for our trips to Haiti, we came bearing supplies and ready to work.

Whenever possible, we try to give the supplies directly to those who will be using them as it is such a joy to see their reactions. On Wednesday we unpacked the box of materials for the blind school in the presence of several sight-impaired teachers and students. To see the teacher’s face light up when he realized that not only did we bring the math materials he needed, but that we provided all 25 sets as requested, warmed our hearts. He was so grateful that he immediately stood up, shook Kathy’s hand and thanked us. He shared that it was his dream for each student to have this important learning material and that we had made that dream come true. He was so happy that we even received an impromptu demonstration.

Kathy explaining the use of the truing stand to John Robert

Some weeks before our trip, we received word that the clubfoot clinic was in need of a baby scale to weigh the tiny patients. A Montessori elementary school in Columbus, Ohio held a read-a-thon where students accepted pledges from friends and family for every page they read one special day at school. The class exceeded their own needs for the fundraiser and named The Red Thread Promise as one of its’ beneficiaries for the overage. A group of twenty-six 4th, 5th and 6th graders donated the funds to purchase the baby scale as well as a truing stand (for use in keeping wheelchair wheels straight and round). Our youngest supporters never cease to amaze us with their compassion!

Various pharmaceuticals, personal items (including soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste) as well as a new printer and computer for the blind school were donated by an Episcopal church in Seattle, Washington. Two of the church’s deacons even traveled with us to deliver everything by hand, tour St. Vincent's and interact with the children.

We were also able to order and hand-carry in some additional materials for the blind school that could not be purchased in Haiti, including such basic items as dual tape recorders.

While these supplies may not be fancy or glamorous, they mean the world to students and educators merely 1.5 hours from Florida, on the small island of Hispanola, in the country of Haiti, in the city of Port-au-Prince, at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children. We are honored to help in any way we can and can continue to do so thanks to your support.

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