Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mission to Haiti

Mission to Haiti
Posted By Kaitlin Doherty / DELHI NEWS-RECORD

One trip to Haiti and one woman has opened the eyes and hearts of Delhi Public School students, parents and teachers.

In February, educational assistant Dolly McCoy set out with 10 other Norfolk residents – including her husband, daughter and son – on a 12-day mission to assist children in LaPointe, Haiti, at the House of Hope.

“Most of us in the group have been to the House of Hope before,” McCoy said. “We really wanted to show students here at the school that there are kids out there who have nothing.”

Armed with toys, food, clothing and money donated by Delhi Public School, as well as many community members, McCoy also brought along a mechanic and a plumber to fix vehicles and poor plumbing.

“The House of Hope isn’t so much like an orphanage,” McCoy said. “These kids sometimes have families that simply can’t afford to care for them, or they don’t even know their parents at all. If a parent drops a child off, they can come and pick them up whenever they want. There are really no rules and no red tape.”

With children aged newborn to their mid 20s, McCoy said the House of Hope was in need of many donations, and Delhi Public went above and beyond the call of duty.

Raising money and donations through fun events such as Hats for Haiti – where students were allowed to wear hats for a day if they donated of $1 – Delhi Public school students, teachers and parents raised more than $1,000.

Delhi Public School even donated bags full of old-logo T-shirts for the children at House of Hope.

“I still cannot believe the support that the school and community has given,” McCoy said. “We were able to give the kids toys, dolls, balls, clothes and food. We had the opportunity to buy them everything they needed to fix their cars and their buildings and still give them $900 to spend. The women who run House of Hope were stunned.”

Basic supplies such as caulking for a bathroom, which costs $4 per tube in Delhi, could cost up to $25 in Haiti.

“It’s a different world down there,” McCoy said. “I felt it was my job to help them but also help students and teachers here by making them aware of the issue. We take a lot for granted here. These kids just want you to hold their hand and pick them up for a hug. It’s so simple.”

Bringing many experiences home with her to pass along to the students at Delhi Public School, McCoy said her family learned one very valuable lesson

“We will never ever say that we are starving again. We will always say we are hungry now, because we are not starving. Those kids are starving,” she said. “Hopefully we can continue to help House of Hope. It means more to see them in person than to just send money.”

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