Hope for Haitians group takes trek to monitor progress

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A makeshift kitchen in the corner of a Haitian home that will be replaced.

Ben Scott, Colvin McCrady, and Peter Soderberg of Boca Grande and Reid Carpenter, a Naples resident, left for Haiti on April 13 to visit the villages of Pon Batay and Michaud, villages the Boca Grande community contributed money to build suitable homes over the past several years. The first stop was a visit to Gressier, where the Boca Grande Hope for Haitian Committee is currently raising money for this year’s project to build 30 homes, two street lamps and supply portable solar lamps for each home.

“In Gressier the need is paramount, as virtually all the community of 60 families lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake and have been living in tents or makeshift, leaky, mud floor structures ever since the quake,” said Ben Scott, chairman of the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee. “There are two outhouses that 60 families share and have to walk a quarter mile for water. These living conditions are deplorable and I call on all the good people of Boca Grande who have not yet giving to this project, to please consider helping to complete this years project.

“To date we have raised enough money to build 20 of the 30 homes needed this year, and have 10 homes remaining plus one street light. If we can fund this project, our partner, Food for the Poor, will commit to bringing water to the community. Having seen the desperate conditions and potential transformation that our initiative can effect in both Bon Patay and Michaud, I have received a generous offer of a one-to-one matching of dollars that are donated for the remaining 10 houses and one street lamp. This is a great opportunity to complete this project to help relieve the terrible living conditions these people are enduring.”

Scott went on to talk about the other communities.

“In Bon Patay, where we built 32 homes this past year, the people of the villages were so appreciative that when we arrived they gathered together and sang the song, ‘How Great Thou Art,’ and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for all the donors. The new home owners were so joyous and proud and wanted us to visit their homes. As a show of their appreciation, they gave us gifts of fruit and sugarcane. This truly was a wonderful experience. Michaud is a village we built in 2012. This year, we added a clinic and two dormitories where children leaving the orphanage come to stay, pray, and be educated in practical skills such as electronics and plumbing to help make them ready for independent adult living. The clinic is also a wonderful addison and is beginning to impact positively the health of the village and surrounding communities.”

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One of the homes that will be replaced

This group returned to Boca Grande on April 17 and looks forward to the next mission trip with still more donors to see the enormous impact that can be made by your contributions.