Monday, December 31, 2012

HAITI :: Holding St. Vincent's Close at Christmas

For so many of us, the holiday season—from Thanksgiving to New Years—holds much joy, laughter and hope. Our busy schedules often welcome:
  • Spending quality time with family and friends. 
  • Sharing bountiful feasts of every nature. 
  • Attending sacred religious services to nourish our souls.
  • Celebrating at endless parties and family get togethers. 
  • Giving gifts to those we love and care for.
  • Making resolutions to become better people in the coming months.
  • Anticipating a new and prosperous year.
  • Counting our seemingly endless blessings.
For others, the holidays bring something very different. It may be a time of sadness, loneliness and depression, especially for those with no home to return to. It may be a time of growling stomaches and empty hands for those who have been orphaned by circumstances beyond their control. It is these people—those who have forged a permanent place in our hearts—that we remembered this Christmas day.

In recent months you've read blog posts about the food crisis at St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) and our combined efforts to provide a constant source of food for the kids. We are conducting an on-going food drive to ensure that the children are once again able to receive 3 meals a day. This Christmas, we wanted to make sure every person with the last name "Vincent" (the sir name for many of the permanent residents) and staff was reminded that they are each loved and cared about. 

On December 25, 2012, The Red Thread Promise set out a feast within the gates of St. Vincent's. With the hard work of Jonas, our all-around-handy-Haitian-friend, and his fiancé, Nathalie, the tables were set with traditional food of every sort, ensuring that every child would have something they like. (So much food was provided that there was a shortage of tables!) 

The Christmas feast
The first to enjoy the meal
Marie Line (background), Clauricianne, Judith and Genie
One of the many desserts
St. Vincent's staff members enjoying a meal
(foreground) Yolene waiting for her meal
(background from L to R) Zacharie, John Marc, Gary, Frenel, Evans, Elisme

As you look at the photos, no doubt you'll recognize many of the faces from Camp Jake as these are also our campers. Here are a few of the many thank you's from the kids:

Merry Christmas and happy new year 2013! 
Que dieu vous protege, Tom. (May God bless you)
~ Kenson

Thank you so much for dinner. 
~ Moise & Maill & Zacharie

Hi Tom, happy new year 2013 and thanks for diner. 
My God keeps you safe. 
~ Rosana

I send you a package full of joy, peace, love and health.
 Merry Christmas. Thanks for all, God bless you! 
~ Dieumene

10000 thanks for the diner and 11000 thanks for the cake. 
I'm happy you remember my birthday. 
~ Marieline

Marie Line and her birthday cake

Special thanks to Tom Landry II & Shawn Richard, Anne Mire, and Jackie & Mark Richard for their generous donations to make this special meal a reality. 

Donations for St. Vincent's food drive can still be made via PayPal (button on the right) or check (to the address below). Please indicate "SV Food" in the memo line. 
The Red Thread Promise
249 N Belfield Ave
Havertown, PA 19083

With your continued support, we plan to hold St. Vincent's close throughout 2013 and beyond.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

HAITI :: Children

St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children
A few of the children your donations helped support with medical care, 
food, water, school supplies and equipment and through Camp Jake.

JACOB'S FUND :: Children

Jacob's Fund 
A few of the children your donations helped support.
Thank you for your continued support.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HAITI :: 2012 Summary

Our Work in Haiti
Providing treatment for orphans with various diseases, 
birth defects and disabilities
Conducting food and water drives to provide uninterrupted 
nutrition to disabled children
Hosting Camp Jake, an annual summer camp, to disabled 
children, youth and adults
Donating medical supplies, diapers, formula, baby food, 
pharmaceuticals and other necessities
Purchasing, coordinating and delivering equipment for schools 
serving the blind and deaf
Delivering, assembling and distributing all-terrain wheelchairs
Training local Haitians to assemble, maintain and fix the wheelchairs
Supplying prosthetics, orthotics, canes and walkers

JACOB'S FUND :: 2012 Summary

Our Work in the USA
Funding full and rotating scholarships for continuous therapy 
for children with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, 
expressive/receptive language disorders and 
profound development delays
Biannual mission trips to work at therapy farms

CHINA :: 2012 Summary

Our Work in China
Providing surgery for infants with spina bifida and 
other serious, life-treating conditions
Sponsoring post-surgical children until adopted
Funding hospitalization, urgent care, special formula and 
medication for severely premature infants
Supplying nebulizers, food and formula for at-risk infants

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

TRTP-shirts are here!

Out with the old, in with the new. 

After 3 years we have finally printed new shirts! 
(Curly haired teen and cute cat not included.)

If you are interested in purchasing a shirt or two, please follow these simple steps:

  • email or call Kathy @ 817.320.6522
  • specify the quantity of shirts you'd like to order
  • sizes are adult S, M, L, XL, XXL
  • each shirt is $20 (includes regular shipping) 
  • specify a shipping address
  • pay via PayPal or check
Photographing shirts is obviously an open invitation to the cat!
Thank you for helping us spread the word about the mission of The Red Thread Promise!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The 2012 ornaments are here!

Hearts Galore (2012)
Every year we wait patiently (sometimes impatiently!) to see the new glass creation from Despina Kalgaros. This lovely lady, proprietor of Kalgaros Gallery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has faithfully created handmade ornaments for The Red Thread Promise since 2004. Each design incorporates a red thread of some sort. And each year we offer them to you. 

This year's beauty—Hearts Galore—reflects the essence of our organization: many hearts coming together for one purpose. 

If you are interested in purchasing an ornament for yourself or as a gift, please follow these simple steps:
  • email or call Kathy @ 817.320.6522
  • specify the quantity of ornaments you'd like to order
  • each ornament is $42 (includes regular shipping) 
  • specify a shipping address
  • pay via PayPal or check
Interested in previous ornaments? Check our our ornament gallery.

As always, thank you for your continued support!

Glass artist and long time supporter, Despina Kalgaros

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hardship and goodness

Often, in the midst of hardship, the goodness of others shines through brightly. This goodness brings us hope in the midst of tragedy and reassures us that the human race is compassionate at its core. 

This is one of those days—a day when a tragedy transformed the hearts of many to do good for others. 

Today Tom—Camp Jake Director—said goodbye to a dear friend who unexpectedly passed away this week: a man who adored life, cherished laughter, lived for music, and cheerfully gave to those in need. Music was this man’s porthole to life, carrying him through the many complexities of existence, both good and bad. 

It is in memory of Marcelo Ferreira, that we announce the founding of the Marcelo Ferreira Salle de Musique (MFSM), an avenue through which friends and family can honor his memory and giving spirit with the gift of music for the residents of St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

Marcelo Jose Nascimento Ferreira
September 4, 1965 - October 30, 2012
Québex City, Canada

As Marcelo touched many, MFSM allows his friends and family to touch the lives of the disabled children at St. Vincent’s. MFSM will provide musical instruments and related media equipment to enrich the lives of those who call St. Vincent’s home, providing them with the comforts and camaraderie that only sound can offer.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

HAITI :: St. Vincent's / October 2012 : : Digital Hearing Aid

Your donations at work at St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Testing, fitting and distributing digital hearing aids. Thank you Team Canada Healing Hands for teaming with Red Thread Promise to help make this happen.

Friday, October 26, 2012

HAITI :: Hurricane Sandy roars through Port-au-Prince

The following message comes from one of our partners in Haiti, Rev. Dr. Kesner Ajax, who just returned from Port-au-Prince. Once again, this tiny nation has been hit with a natural disaster, devastating the people even more. Below are his observations of Port-au-Prince and the circumstances surrounding those living in the area. 


Rev. Dr. Kesner Ajax
I am writing you to let you know of the situation in Haiti following Hurricane Sandy. I just returned from a trip to Port-au-Prince. The situation is devastating. The storm stayed for almost five days. The rain fell without ceasing. The wind was very strong. The streets are flooded. In some areas the water is waist deep. On my drive to and from Port-au-Prince, I saw many bridges that have fallen and are destroyed. I have seen streets that I pass everyday, now are rushing rivers. As much as this saddens me, I am not surprised. With the infrastructure we have, these results are to be expected. The departments that were affected the most were the South, South East, West, Nippes, and Grand Anse. It saddens me that school just began three weeks ago, and already there is another problem for the people of Haiti. There are many people who were still living in tents or in unsafe housing, and the hurricane took away what shelter they had. Hurricane Sandy has left many people displaced and with no place to turn to. Many families in Haiti already had a difficult time providing for their families. Now after the hurricane, it is more difficult to find food to eat, and people who give food cannot provide for everyone who needs it. I am asking for you to please continue to keep the people of Haiti in your prayers. It means so much to me, and to the Haitian people. Thank you so much for these prayers and for everything you have done for us already. It is appreciated so much. I cannot put into words how you have helped the people of Haiti.


As always, please keep the people of Haiti in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Like-minded folks

Rotary President Bob Competti
It is always our pleasure to speak with like-minded folks who share our passion for service. In the past months, our schedule has been filled with presentations to churches, civic groups and Rotary Clubs all the way from Louisiana to Ohio.

Just this week, The Red Thread Promise received a warm welcome from Lancaster Rotary (Ohio #375). Sonya (Vice President) and Glenna (Jacob's Fund Director) savored the opportunity to hear about this club's volunteerism in their community as well as their strong mentoring program for foreign exchange and local high school students. Rotary's motto, "service above self" marries so well with our own mission. 

Then it was our turn, sharing our own stories about the work we engage in the United States through Jacob's Fund. We introduced the club to Cameron, Landon and Brandon, sharing how hippotherapy and therapeutic riding are changing their lives.

The children's book donated in The Red Thread's honor
At the end of the meeting, Rotary President Bob Competti presented Sonya with a book being donated to the local library in honor of The Red Thread Promise, a practice this Club has long employed. It was very touching to see the care taken in choosing a children's book with a red theme and the beautiful bookplate inside.

We are happy to have met this caring group of individuals. What a great addition to our busy week!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Tony atop Pumpkin during therapy
A positive outlook
On the beautiful, misty Friday morning of September’s trip to McKenna Farms, Glenna spotted Tony and his therapist, Kristen, leading Pumpkin—a strikingly beautiful horse— from the barn to the outdoor arena. As they walked, Tony was telling Kristen, “Well, not every weekend can be a great weekend!” 

That’s so typical of Tony – he brings a positive attitude to all life’s challenges of which he has endured many. 

Glenna greeted him at the gate of the arena. Tony vigorously shook Glenna’s hand, replying in his unfailingly polite manner, that he was unable to talk right then as he needed to focus on his riding. Glenna stepped aside, watched them enter the arena and quietly observed his session with the therapist. 

One of the most beautiful moments was in the ring, after warming up the horse for the ride. Kristen regarded Tony and said, “Pumpkin looks really happy this morning. Do you think he’s happy?” Tony replied simply: “He’s happy. I’m happy. There’s a big smile on my face!” 

Jacob’s Fund wants to keep that smile on Tony’s face. If you’d like to help, donations can be made via check (to the address at the top right) or via our handy PayPal button (right sidebar). Thank you for you continued support of children in the United States.