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July 7, 2008

Dear Friends of Jeremie,

Frank, along with 3 other Summit County residents, joined a construction crew from South Carolina to completCollage of Senior House exterior, kitchen, and toilet facilitiese the walls of the orphanage in Jeremie. They took four 50 lb duffle bags with supplies for various school activities, the summer enrichment program, the midwife program, and sewing instruction. In addition to building the walls they visited an orphanage in Roseaux to deliver rice and beans. They also visited the elderly residents of Good Samaritan Home, the building we had thought to replace.

After much discussion with Rev. Jean Dorcely, the district president of the Methodist Church in Jeremie, and other Haitians it was decided that food issues were more important than a new building and it would be more beneficial to remodel the Good Samaritan Home rather than build a new home on the site of the new orphanage. As much as the Haitian leadership liked the original idea the situation has changed and they are struggling to feed and take care of the daily needs of the elderly residents.

We will modify our plans to their wishes. Remodeling the present Good Samaritan Home will be much more cost effective and would allow more money to then be raised in sponsorship programs for the individual residents. As you know from any reading of the international news - food for Haitians is a very big issue. Frank took $500 but the amount of beans and rice it purchased will not last long. Accordingly we have developed, with the Haitian Methodist leadership, a new plan for the home as follows:

Tile the present bedrooms so the floors can be kept clean

Purchase a new mattress and obtain a dresser for each senior

Acquire walkers and wheelchairs. Resurface the walkways and install ramps so the residents can move more freely

Install plumbing, build new bathrooms, showers and kitchen as currently there is no plumbing in the home and conditions are very unsanitary.

I am going to Haiti on July 8 (tomorrow) and will work with the leadership on establishing a budget for the above additions and improvements.

I am also looking in the Summit County area for a donated space about the size of a single car garage in which we can gather and store donations.  We are preparing another USAID shipment and need to collect 2000 pounds of goods in one spot for inspection and acceptance for their free airlift program.

Additionally, it was decided that instead of waiting until after the remodeling projects are complete, we would begin raising money for a sponsorship program for the seniors now. When remodeled, Good Samaritan Home can provide comfortable living conditions for 25 seniors. It takes a minimum of $100 per month to feed and care for each one. Our organization, Jeremie Relief, is therefore committed to raising $2500 a month in gifts and sponsorship donations. $25 a month from 100 committed individuals will allow the seniors of Jeremie to live out their lives in a small measure of food security.

Please look at the photos of some of the seniors (www.jeremierelief.org) and be moved to make a monthly commitment toward their support!  Support can be provided in several ways:

Checks can be sent monthly to LOTM, PO Box 1059, Dillon, CO 80435, marked Haiti
One check for $300 can be sent to LOTM to cover a one year commitment at one time, marked Haiti
Click on PayPal
A third option will be available in about 30 days that will save you, the generous donor, the inconvenience of donating manually every month. I will update you when we get this option in place.

Thank you for all you do to help the poor. No act of love is ever wasted.

Deborah Hage

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