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It Begins at the Beginning
Top: LCS staff and Volunteers work with the sizyem (7th grade) students for their incoming orientation. Bottom: The Big Get Together in the Rockford Diocese (left and center) and the fundraiser at Vanity Restaurant in Providence, R.I. (right).
On Monday, we received our incoming students for orientation. They are a bundle of energy and excitement. They are very young — mostly between the ages of 11 and 13. This is also likely to be their first time away from home. Remarkably, we only had one child who needed some extra TLC for homesickness. The new students are as quick at adapting as they are at running, jumping, and smiling. They bring a beautiful element of inspiration at the start of the new school year. Next week, all of the Louverture Cleary students will return. They will be happy too — though not necessarily as carefree. Our returning students know how hard it is to meet the academic rigor of the school, to learn in four languages and to serve others daily. The older students are especially clear about the reality of making it all 7 years. They no longer possess the same attitude of the new students who have not yet realized what it takes. What they do have, however, is the vision and fortitude to complete their mission as Louverturians.
We had a great Big Get Together at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Crystal Lake, IL on Saturday. As an important activity to recognize the support in the Rockford Diocese, this was the 11th Big Get Together held in the area. Led by Barb Wheeler and fueled by the energy of 20 past mission trippers from the parish, the event hit on every cylinder. It was great in expressing the spirituality, conviviality and productivity for our work! I want to thank the THP community in the Rockford Diocese, Monsignor Daniel Hermes and Fr. Jerome Koutnik, and the wonderful parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. I also want to thank those Board Members and Volunteer Alumni who traveled and made an effort to be together with our community.
Last Thursday, community members from the Rhode Island area gathered at the Vanity Restaurant in Providence in support of The Haitian Project. Raising funds through donations and raffle tickets, it was a cheerful assembly of old and new friends. “The venue was fun and the folks at Vanity could not have been more accommodating,” says Matt Smith, THP Board Chair. “Many of our long standing supporters attended, and there were several new faces in the crowd, who were eager to learn more about THP and its mission in Haiti. It was a great way to spend a Thursday evening.” Thank you to Matt as well as THP Board Member Jay Murphy and local community supporter Dan Murphy who organized the evening. Events such as these provide us with discernible evidence of the solidarity existing between our US and Haitian communities.