My Neighbors Children

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Year in Review - 2011


The Year in Review - 2011

Sometimes I believe we need to take time to really record
history.  It can be too easy to forget.....

This past year has been one of being stretched, but in a good
way.  I have felt one hand reaching forward to help the many
people in need in Haiti, and one hand reaching in the other
direction to the many generous people that have provided
donations, shopped, wrote checks, to give to me to give to 
them.  It is for these generous friends that I feel most
compelled to write this list............
so that we can all remember what we have accomplished

So, here goes, in no order, other than that of how I start to
remember the work that has been done, with the other hard
workers, with My Neighbors Children in 2011:

150 Easter Baskets provided to New Life Children's Children - the first these
kids had ever received, everything but chocolate as it melts WAY too easily
in Haiti!

Easter Dinner for approximately 200 people - a feast that I still savor

Thanksgiving Dinner for the same number - sharing the American
tradition of thanks, and feeling the tradition in such a meaningful way..........

8 trips to Haiti for myself and other My Neighbors Children
Team Members - each trip for me started to feel more and more like
"going from one home to another".

Visits to Tent Cities to distribute much needed products and let the people living there know - people care and are sorry for what has happened to the good people of Haiti.  And realizing, these people were terribly and violently stripped of their "normal" lives.............

32 checked suitcases of my own - 4 per trip - each carry much needed children's medicine, supplies, children's underwear and shoes, and always one of them packed with the much anticipated "goodies" to eat.  About 250 pounds of luggage per trip.

An industrial size and strength playground for New Life Children's Home - which provides so much fun and excitement for the kids that live there.

A shipping container full of wheelchairs, exercise mats for the children that need time out of the wheelchairs, riding toys, diapers, a new movie projector so the kids can enjoy a beautifully projected outdoor Friday night movie.

Eight shopping trips for food throughout Port au Prince, a minimum of 6 stops per trip, to fill the truck with food supplies...............that produced shouts of excitement from the kids as we returned with the food!

Three new laptops to take to Haiti, for our friends there on the ground helping to fight the same battles we are, and were in need of this means of communication.

Three dental appointments for Jackie, to help correct years of neglect and mal-nutrition.

Building a network of on the ground connections in Haiti, a dentist, medical doctors, lawyers, other NSO leaders...................that are a necessity and a luxury when trying to make things happen in Haiti.

Visiting and helping to strengthen a school in Cap Haitien, through cleaning to planning repairs, to hoping to pay teachers.

Visiting a clinic in Shabba in CapHat, and seeing more sick mothers holding more sick children than one wants to see, in an area in which I do not know how people survive...........

Paying to bury a child, that should not have died a death of 2011.

Finding a wonderful home for a little boy who I love, .........he now has a grandma that he loves, who cooks for him, cleans him, and a "momma" from the states that now lives for my visits to see him.

The joy of watching the same children, trip after trip, grow and becoming healthier with time.

The scare of being in Haiti when the cholera outbreak started.............and knowing that this was one more devastating thing this country did not need.

Meeting so many wonderful people, on the ground in Haiti, who are there simply to give............some have been there for a week, some a lifetime.

Having a van donated so that MNC can have an easier way to move around in Haiti, and deliver the supplies that we collect.

Holding more kids in my arms than I ever could imagine, hugging them, and telling them that I love them, and meaning it every single time...........

Understanding unimaginable happiness and joy in watching a child eat, in a country where this can be a luxury.

Looking at every child in the orphanages, and wishing so much they all did not have to be there, but being so grateful that there was a place for them.

Seeing so much misery, and hunger, and fear on the streets of Haiti, and not being able to look away, because the scenes all start to run together.

Buying a week's worth of food for Bon Samaritan, when they didn't even have enough for one more meal left in their pantry.

Being told over and over and over, by the people of Haiti, Thank You.......and knowing that saying You Are Welcome feels terribly inadequate.......

So..........I don't believe this list is complete, but a good representation of what 2011 has been for me as a part of My Neighbor's Children.  As I have typed this list, I realized, there is no way to truly capture it all.  Every item, every action, has been so impactful.................

Please read this list, and realize that your help MADE THESE THINGS happen.  I am grateful to be the one who gets to deliver these items, and your prayers, and your hopes for these children, but I know that it is a cumulation of so many.  I want you all to feel the sense that we have made a difference, and we will continue to...........because to not do so no longer seems to be an option.

Thank you all.



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