Each traveler had collected supplies of their choice to bring along prior to the trip. Before heading out to see the kids, we had to organize everything by separating hygiene products from school supplies, and then placing them into individual bags. Upon arriving at the school, we split into groups. The first group helped repainting classrooms of the school while the rest of us went to the orphanage. We had fun dancing , sharing a meal, and playing sports with the children and staff.
Some of us were able to return to orphanage the very next day and I was not going to mention this at first, but we got WHOOPED in soccer by the Haitian kids. They were the truth! Since we had brought more school and hygiene supplies than was needed at the school and orphanage, we went out to the village nearby and gave out the remaining bags which made for an humbling and emotional moment.
This trip brought my trust back into charities. In fact, while in business school, I read so many cases of charity leaders misusing donations that I always preferred giving back through time and labor rather than money. I was amazed and happy to see that even though the kids we helped out were orphans, they were rather well taken care of. They had food, shelter, entertainment, and most importantly access to education which shows that some charity programs are actually doing what they are supposed to.
My experience in Haiti motivates me to financially participate in charity, and I hope it encourages you to do the same. Two of the trip participants have set up fundraisers on go fund me that you can view at the links below. One is to help purchase mattresses for the orphanage we visited, and the other is to help with future community service trips. If you are interested in participating in the next Service & Leisure trip to Haiti or to another destination, please let me know via the contact form and i will direct you to the right person right away.
Live Life Fully,