We have a community here on St. Croix that reaches deeply- into their pockets, into their hearts, and into their consciences to help a good cause. There’s no shortage of those, certainly not here on our own island.
This past Friday night I went to an art show fund raiser that was unlike any other I had ever been to. One of our local galleries – Maufe` by name, hosted at its’ own expense, a show dedicated to a newly formed, St. Croix based non profit organization known as Haiti Community Support. Please don’t stop reading now. There is a very important story to be told here.
Headed by Bruce and Mathilde Wilson, they have devoted their lifes’ work to changing a pocket of humanity, one cinderblock, one child, one bag of rice at a time. Mathilde has lived on St, Croix for many years but was born in Au Centre, a poor among the poorest village in the mountains of Haiti.
They have made numerous trips back to her village where not one child had ever been to a school or had even seen a school. Through the setting up of their 501 (c )3 organization, they have raised some of the funds necessary to build a school and hire two teachers to make sure that the next generations have an opportunity to improve their lives.
I’d like to offer some quoted text from Mathildes’ Spring 2008 newsletter as no one can put this into words better than she can-
HCS Newsletter Spring/Summer 2008
“For each of my 41 years on this earth, my country, Haiti, has been a place of terrible suffering and despair. I’ve wondered all my life how this holocaust could be allowed to continue, year after year, with no meaningful intervention from the developed world.
Recent press stories about mud cookies and deforestation, food rotting in the ports, and hunger riots in the cities are shocking and discouraging. But Haiti has been this way on and off since my earliest memories. I’m worried that if that’s all people hear about Haiti, maybe they’ll just completely give up on us.
Sensational stories hide the greater truth: That Haiti’s survivors are eager to rebuild their ravaged country – if given even minimal help. Deep in the mountains, in the poorest and most forgotten of mountain villages, our school kids and their parents are today making great progress; planting a community garden, running the school lunch program, and learning new skills. Men and women who have survived the odds already just by staying alive, defy the odds again, to build a school and a medical clinic.
Making progress in Haiti is difficult and exciting work. You’ve been a part of our success. We’re a young organization, and early supporters like you are especially important to the future of an effort like this.
I and my husband have been working in Haiti for the love and exhilaration of success. What has kept us going has been your support and encouragements, and especially the hard work and dedication of our village leaders in Haiti.
I hope you enjoy reading some good news out of Haiti. Feel proud! It’s news you are helping to make happen! “
The gallery event Friday night was something that made every resident here feel proud of our community. Up for auction were paintings by Haitian artists, some of our local artists, and in the best tradition of total involvement, paintings by young local art students, some of whom never painted before.
This was coordinated by the supreme efforts of Monica Marin, the art teacher of Country Day School here. What this group accomplished was not only raising over $10,000, just last night, but to instill in children here that what they do can make a difference.
If all we do is focus on what’s wrong with our society and our politics and policies, we will become beaten down and deadened. There is so much to be done, and thankfully, there are people like Bruce and Mathilde who risk so much and try so hard and in the end, refer to themselves as a ” lucky crew”. How can we not help them? With last Friday nights’ collection they will be able to expand the school and add another 50 children from neighboring villages.
There is no doubt that unlike any other agency you may give to during the year, there need be no question as to where every penny goes. It ALL goes to the children and families of Au Centre.
Please have a long, deep look at the photos.
I’d like to ask you all to visit their website here to see what the best of humanity is capable of and click on their automatic payment button to make a real difference in the lives of people who have never known running water, electricity, a meal before bed and still, only want an education.
Thanks to all my readers and friends for indulging me in something I feel so very strongly about and just know that whatever you can do- will truly make a difference. Let’s all take a village.
Peace and love now more than ever.