Container of Supplies is Off to Haiti!

At 6:40 a.m. Friday, May 24 everything was in place!  The container was an estimated 8 tons!  It is now off to Haiti.

On Wednesday evening, member of St. Andrew’s, St. Paul’s, To Love a Child, RPI and others from the Empire Haiti Coalition gathered at the RPI Technology Park to load the 20 foot long container with supplies for all of the six churches and schools the Coalition supports, plus some additional supplies for two orphanages and a homeless shelter.

The container once unload will become a daycare and early learning center. Member of the empire Haiti Coalition and RPI students that designed the daycare center will travel to Haiti in August to help distribute the supplies and complete the daycare center project.

Thanks to the work done by the St. Andrew’s-St. Paul’s Partnership more than 250 notebooks, 6 water coolers, 600+ pens/pencils, a copier/printer, 5 bikes, tarps, microphones, music amps and various musical instrument are on their way to our partners in Lahoye. One very special item and the  last thing to be loaded in to the container was a wonderful drum set donate by Nancy Kelly’s son Peter an RPI grad. This item was one that we never thought we would find and It was nice to have Peter’s sister Laura there to help send it off.

Many thanks to all who have help make this project such a success.

One more very important note. The April Book Sale in the Shop, at 10 and 25 cents a book, raised nearly $400 for the Haiti partnership. They plan to expanded the number of these sales in the coming year from two to four!

My thoughts on Haiti – By Kate Storms

I have traveled the world, from Africa to Central America, but I have never been so struck by beauty, poverty, fear and hope as that I experienced in Haiti.  I am still processing all that I have seen in my short time there and reflecting on the wonderful friendships I have started.

 

I went there for a number of reasons. Chiefly among them being: to do some fact-finding for the people of St. Paul’s and to continue a partnership with the parish of Christ the King in Lahoye that our church had begun supporting last year.  I was the first person from St. Paul’s to visit the main parish of the Holy Spirit in Lascahobas and its satellite parish in Lahoye.

From my perspective, there are so many challenges that the average person faces every day. Everywhere I looked I could see a need unmet or a task that needed to be done. Yet by just being there I could see the hope that my presence brought to our partners.  I spent a number of days visiting with teachers, parents and children at a number of satellite schools run by Fr. Milor and was amazed with how little they had to work with.  They lack most of the basic material items that we use each day, but came to school cleaned and pressed to share an inspiring greeting.

One of the greatest experiences that I was able to share with the teachers and children was the gift of music.  I brought fifty plastic recorders with me and was lucky enough to play and start the process of teaching teachers and children to play these simple instruments.  Music is such a large part of the spiritual life in Haiti, and it was a pleasure I will not soon forget.  In addition, I was moved by close harmony female singing in several church services.

Kate Storms in Lahoye

Kate Storms in Lahoye

As I continue to process what I have experienced and come to terms with it, I have been able to determine that there is so much more that we can do to expand and build our partnership.  Some of those things are very small, other will take a lot more time and effort to achieve.  Like my new friends in Haiti, I share their hope that through this partnership we can improve their daily lives and they in return can provide us with the lasting spirit of God’s grace.

Kate

Haiti Mission Partnership update -Time to collect items to send to Haiti

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Franz Flamand the Head Master and Lay Leader at St. Jacques School in Lahoye Welcome Kate Storms from St. Paul’s Albany on her first trip to Lahoye.

Thanks to Empire Haiti Coalition, To Love a Child and students at RPI, the St. Andrew’s – St. Paul’s Haiti partnership with Christ the King parish in Lahoye Haiti, we will have an opportunity to ship a number of supplies to Haiti in May. The supplies will be loaded into a cargo container and shipped to Haiti. We have just received a list of supplies that Fr. Jean Milor and the lay leaders are hoping we can send.

For the church they would like: electronic keyboard, 2 microphones, 1 electric guitar 2 speakers, a full set of drums, shirts, pants for the faithful of the church, new tennis sneakers and shoes.

For the school they would like: metallic binders, glue for students, one photocopy machine, soccer balls, tennis sneakers for children, new toys for preschool students,  general school supplies for students and bikes for the teachers. (we have four and need two more)

They still need uniforms for 150 students whose families cannot afford the $30 it will cost to buy them.

It will costs each partner in the coalition a minimum of $500 to help defray the cost of shipping. Once the cargo container is emptied and the supplies distributed the container will be turned into a school for small children by RPI students at one of the parishes Fr. Milor serves. Last year the cargo container was turned into a medical clinic.

If you would like to help donate items to the cause we will have two buckets set-up in the church or you if you wish to make a contribution you can give a check to St. Andrew’s with “Haiti Mission Cargo” on the memo line or you can use a credit card at www.stashaitipartners.org/donate. If you would like to take an active part in our Haiti Partnership please contact Rob Lilpopp at roblillpop@aol.com. Thank YOU!!

Feb 2013 Lahoye2

A parent prepares a lunch for students using supplies sent in last years cargo container

 

Bishop Duracin visits Albany as part of Haiti Partnership

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Bishop Duracin Preaching at St. Andrew’s

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Rev. Mary White and Bishop Duracin pose in front of banner made by children in Lahoye Haiti for the children in Albany.

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Deacan Nick, Albany’s Bishop Love, Rev. Mary White and Bishop Duracin at St. Andrew’s Carmichael Hall November 18, 2012

The Right Reverend Jean Zaché Duracin, Diocesan Bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti was the special guest at a benefit luncheon for the people of Haiti on November 16th, and at Sunday Services help at St. Andrew’s Church in Albany November 18th, 2012. The luncheon was held at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center. Following a time of food and fellowship, Bishop Duracin and a representative of the Empire Haiti Coalition gave presentations about the country of Haiti, its challenges, and how we can help.

The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti is the largest diocese in the Episcopal Church, yet it is also the poorest. The country has been hit by many hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years and was devastated by two serious earthquakes in January of 2010. There is great need in this country, and all proceeds of the luncheon and the Sunday offering went towards relief and mission work there. Blog Small5

After the Hurricane Local Artists, Churches and Civic Groups Event to Help New York Flood Victims and Haiti

Action H2O event, now to raise money for local New Yorkers affected by the Hurricane Irene and to bring clean H2O to Haiti’s Central Plateau also affected by Hurricane Irene.

The event will take place on Tuesday October 25, 2011 at The Cathedral of All Saints, in Albany, NY, Beginning at 5:00 p.m., the evening will be filled with a wide variety of family fun to include Latin music, incredible food stations, auctions, entertainment and great activities for people of all ages.

The evening will feature the music from the Jazz Band Las Manos, The Agape Singers, Vocalist Caroline Gregg as well as a Latin Dance Demos

Special Guests:
Jessica Layton, WNYT-Channel 13
ChrisGloninger, WRGB-Channel 6
Steve Ammerman, WTEN-News 10

Every adult ticket holder will receive a Hand Painted Glasses Tumblers crafted by Local Artists at the Colonie Art League including Jane Morrison, Annatastia Robertson, Mara Bouyea, Alyssa LaPatra, Cheryle O’Toole, Jenn Hogan, Joanna Butterfield, Theresa Hayes and Teresa Brobston.

For ticket information, visit our website at www.rhythmsofhope.org

Robert M Lillpopp 518.937.8206

Cindy Schmehl 518.859.4424

Working press will be invited to the event and the setup on Monday evening after 5pm at the Cathedral for interviews

St. Andrew’s and Empire Haiti Coalition gearing up for Action H20

The people of St. Andrew’s are getting ready for our biggest Haiti fundraiser of the years.

Haiti Mission team members are working hard on putting together ideas for our both at the event. This year’s event is focused around the theme of clean water. Our plan is still formulating, in and effort to raise money to purchase water filters, we hope to show how dirty water can be run through a simple device and produce clean drinkable water.  Get ready to try a sample. We will also have our new Haiti 2012 Calendar and note cards available for purchase.

All the booths will have some type of water theme, from a dunking booth, where you may have a change to baptize your favorite member of the clergy to a hydroponic vegetable display, a water-tasting contest and a lucky ducky game for the kids.

The event will feature many entertainers, including St. Andrew’s own Caroline Gregg and Dotti Johnson. Ms. Gregg a sophomore at Smith College, will perform the inspirational songs and will be accompanies by Dotti Johnson on the piano.

Come and meet local TV personalities, Jessica Layton, Steve Ammerman and Chris Gloninger. Every attendee will receive a hand painted water glass to take home.

Once again, we cordially invite you to spend an evening with fellow supporters to raise funds for our clean water projects in Haiti. The Cathedral of All Saints, in Albany, NY, will be hosting “Rhythms of Hope—Working in Harmony to Help Haiti—Action H2O” beginning at 5:00 p.m. The evening will be filled with a wide variety of family fun to include music, food, auctions, and great activities for people of all ages.

Come bring and friend and if you can’t please visit our website and give what you can. For more information on how you can buy a ticket or donate click here.

August in Haiti

Cindy Schmehl who runs ToLoveAChild.net, a member of the Empire Haiti Coalition sent this e-mail upon her return from Haiti this week.

I’m just back as of 3:00 a.m. this morning. We had long delays leaving Port au Prince due to airport problems with flooding from yesterday’s rainstorm.

I’m a bit overwhelmed with mail and such as well as the Haiti experience. I’ll bring photos to share. The celebration on Sunday was at Rantlamouaie and folks from all the parishes came. Franz from Lahoye played the guitar. Samuel from Corosse was there and said they need bibles too! (we purchased bibles for Rantlamouaie and presented them during mass). It was a wonderful showing of solidarity among the missions and worship.

HOT and HUMID was the key word on this trip. This was the first time I actually had to change shirts during the day as I was completely drenched from sweat. Cholera numbers are way down for now, but could go up at any time. Our friends the cockroaches and tarantulas made a great appearance for our benefit!

The Episcopal flags were proudly displayed and I heard that church membership is on the rise because people see HOPE for the future at our churches. Thank to our efforts, there is solar power, there are supplies, there will be clean water, there is love and friendship…..this is huge dear friends.

As we struggle with the upcoming Action H2O event, raising money for our sites, etc. know that your efforts are not in vain–we are doing God’s work.

By attracting more people to the churches we bring more children to school. Those children are educated so that they can make better decisions in life ahead. There is a need to get young people to understand the importance of protected sex, family planning, and marriage. All these things can be taught through the church and the church schools. It’s important.

Right now, there are too many women trying to give their children away because they cannot care for them. (We witnesses this while there) The fathers of the children have simply walked away with no responsibility leaving the mother and the child or children in many cases to fend for themselves.

Ah, there is so much to say. Please know how important your work is to the people of Haiti and how grateful they are for your help.

Please stay tuned to this website, attend our event and give what you can.

To donate or attend and event click here.

David Bagg: What I found in Haiti’s Central Plateau

This story was written by David Bagg who recently went Haiti’s Central Plateau to help on two projects. He shares his impressions on what he found there both from the people of Haiti and within himself.

Recently my father and I along with a small group from RPI went to Haiti with a goal to install solar panels in the small village of Lahoye and set up a hydroponics system for the village of Lascahobas. I was expecting that this trip would be full of great experiences, and our group would see and learn of a new culture and the many ways that it differs from the United States. I was not disappointed, and the trip really impacted me and altered my personal world view.

The magnitude of the struggles that these people face, and overcome, on a daily basis is probably what impacted me the most. One small example can be seen every day when the kids gather for school. Each morning the kids would walk to school, usually in small groups, in clean and pressed uniforms that matched the school they would attend. The simple fact that every single child’s uniform was clean and pressed everyday was mind boggling. All of these kids are coming from homes with no power or water and in many cases dirt floors, yet every single uniform was shiny and wrinkle free every day I was there. Same thing can be said for church on Sunday. This is just one small example of overcoming challenges, obviously there were many other larger obstacles that needed to be tackled daily. It seemed like they were able to make something from nothing in almost any circumstance imaginable.

I witnessed a strong sense of community full of people willing to help out their neighbors. One specific event that really touched me occurred when our group was building the solar tower in LaHoye. A team member had brought along some hard candies to give to the children, as it is a treat they don’t often receive. We were up on a tower installing the panels and all the kids had gathered around the tower after school, and my team mate pulled out a candy. The children, predictably, became very animated and started asking for us to toss it down to them and jumping around. So we did and this little girl, maybe 7 years old, came up with it out of the pile of kids who had jumped and scrambled for it. The next thing she did was really astonishing. She stuck the candy into her mouth, and immediately broke it into about 10 pieces and passed it out to all her friends and the people who wanted some. I’m not even sure if she kept any for herself, if she did it wasn’t much. My group mate and I just looked at each other and said “did you just see that”. This action was of course trivial, but I saw its spirit mirrored throughout our trip, whether it was with someone who needed a hand with chores or someone who needed food or a place to sleep.

It really was a wonderful and moving experience to be immersed in such a different culture and to attempt to help them with some of the problems they face. We are fortunate enough to have some means and opportunity to do so, where as they really have none. What a great opportunity this was for our group and the people of Lahoye and Lascohobas. I would encourage anyone to help out in any capacity, as this is truly a great cause.

If you are reading this today and were moved by what I have written, I hope that you will help us. Give what you can and help us bring hope to my new friends in Haiti.

To donate Click here now!

Empire Haiti Coalition Team Heads to Haiti after Hurricane Emily to Assess Needs

Empire Haiti Coalition Team Heads to Haiti after Hurricane Emily to Assess Needs

On Monday August, 7 a small Empire Haiti Coalition team, lead by Cindy Schmehl, the Director of To Love A Child, Inc. and David J. Collum, Dean of All Saints Cathedral in Albany, will head to Haiti’s Central Plateau region to assess the needs of the six communities the Empire Haiti Coalition serves.

The trip will focus on bringing clean potable water to help prevent the spread of cholera in the villages, school and parishes that the Coalition serves. These communities include the villages of, Lascahobas, Lahoye, Corosse, Flande, Rantlamouaie and Poully.

Prior to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 not one single case of Cholera had been seen in the country for over a century. By March of 2011, some 4,672 people had died and another 252,640 cases were reported. The United Nations projected that the total number infected would likely rise to 400,000 but researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, say this is a gross underestimate. They believe the toll could reach 779,000, with 11,100 deaths by the end of November 2011.

Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, needs our help to bring clean water to its people. The Empire Haiti Coalition (EHC) consisting of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Cathedral of All Saints and To Love a Child, Inc. form a local partnership that assists 4 communities on the Central Plateau of Haiti reaching over 1,000 children and touching the lives of thousands of other adults. To combat the lack of potable drinking water at the partnership locations, the EHC has adopted a mission to provide a dependable water supply by the end of 2012. Each location will have an individual water project implemented to serve the specific needs of the community. Each system will also include a solar-powered filtration system to remove any bacterial contamination such as cholera.

To help raise funds for this endeavor the Empire Haiti Coalition will host on August 30, 2011 at The Cathedral of All Saints, in Albany, NY, “Rhythms of Hope—Working in Harmony to Help Haiti—ACTION: H2O” beginning at 5:00 p.m. The evening is filled with a wide variety of family fun to include Latin music, incredible food stations, auctions, entertainment and great activities for people of all ages. We even have a dunking booth where guests can try to plunge the clergy! Upon registration, each adult ticket holder will be given wine tumbler hand painted by a local artist.

We ask those in the Capital Region to please consider showing their support for our projects in Haiti’s Central Plateau.

The partnership’s goal is to build relationships throughout Haiti’s Central Plateau and provide services and resources that will assist in creating self-sustaining programs to improve family environments and communities.

To Donate Visit <a href=”http://www.Rhythmsofhope.org”>www.Rhythmsofhope.org</a>

Letter from Fr. Milor (July 2011)

The following is part of a letter from Fr. Jean Milor, the Priest in Charge of Christ the King Church and St. Jacques School in Lahoye Haiti. He is also the priest in charge of the six churches and school supported by the Empire Haiti Coalition.
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I hope the people of St. Andrew’s are well.

I want to let you know all goes well at the school in Lahoye and we still have the canteen from World Vision for the children. We thank you for the additional funds to improve the canteen, it now includes beans and sauce. The new kitchen is working and it makes it easier now that the rain has come.

I know how you are all working hard to get support in order to help the people of Lahoye.

It was wonderful to be with my friends in New York and to have Edge and the students visit in May. The work they did is already helping. We continue to fight cholera in all of my churches and look for you continued help.

God’s blessing

Fr. Milor