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Time4Updates: A Spotlight on Time4Haiti’s Mission Trip

A Play Day to Remember

In the words of Time4Haiti, one of our incredible partner organizations that recently took a mission trip to TJS, “teachable moments happen frequently outside of the classroom.” This very philosophy serves as the basis for much of their impactful work, and led them to sponsor a Play Day for The Joseph School– complete with sack races, 3-legged races, tug-o-war, body through the hoop races, and the boys’ and girls’ soccer tournament finals.

Designated playtime is an integral part of any child’s education and development. Aside from the creative benefits, sports encourage leadership while teaching students the importance of teamwork. That is why we are so grateful for Time4Haiti’s efforts to coordinate this Play Day: our students loved it, and we are so glad they had  fun and learned valuable life lessons! Time4Haiti’s focus on encouraging and empowering our students offered them the space to let loose and just be kids. At the end of Play Day, the team took our students to cool off and play in a beautiful river. What an incredible ending to a memorable day!

 Community Involvement

Collectively, Time4Haiti truly has a heart for service. Not only did they coordinate Play Day, but they also got involved in the local community.

They helped the homeless in Cabaret paint their shelter and gave them a Bible, Children’s Bible story book, an English dictionary, and some hygiene products to share. They also performed a village cleanup, and did village ministry in Minoterie. We are incredibly grateful to have been involved with a group that champions Christian service ideals so well.

 

The Visual Story of Time4Haiti’s Trip:

 

Time4Haiti: thank you again!

 

 


United by Uniforms

Welcome back, TJS supporters! As the school year comes to a close, we are celebrating some exciting news on the horizon: student uniforms are now being made IN Haiti!

As you may know, in the last three years, we have purchased uniforms here in the United States. While we appreciated the American services, we wanted to do something more to help our friends in Haiti. NOW, thanks to the pilot sewing program (sponsored by Nashville’s own Immanuel Baptist Church!), we are having the uniforms sewn in Haiti! Not only will this switch provide much-needed jobs to families in Haiti, but it will also decrease production and distribution difficulties as we grow from 90 to 120 students, and plan to continue to expand every year. Uniforms are $100 pers students and include: two shirts, two pants/shorts/skirts, shoes (still purchased in US) and Socks.

This change is more than a mere location switch: it is a Transition that is going to serve as the grounds for the Transformation of lives.

The photo to your left features John Kerry, rising 4th grader, modeling the first draft of the Haitian-made uniforms!

And check out the behind-the-scenes look of our hardworking Haitian friends to the right, as they carefully take measurements and calculate the correct dimensions for the uniforms. We are blessed with an incredible team and are so excited to watch this program kick off!

We also want to extend a special thanks to TJS Board member, Natalie Inman, for providing the sewing machines!

Thank You.

To all of our followers: thank you, kindly, for reading and for believing in our mission. The Joseph School would not be the same without YOU! With your generous contribution, you can quite literally provide the clothes on the back of a student. We are deeply grateful for your support during this exciting Transition!


Healing Brings Hope: Medical Trip Update

It’s no secret that healthcare in Haiti is scarce. The average life expectancy is 63 years, 30% of the population is considered food insecure, and the infant mortality rate is 55 per every 1000 live births (as compared to 5.8 per 1000 in the United States). While unfortunately, some of Haiti’s debilitating conditions are untreatable on a large scale, many diseases are avoidable with regular check-ups and nutrition monitoring. We are blessed to have the incredible Lisa Hellmann, MSN/APRN/FNP-C travel frequently to The Joseph School to keep our kids healthy. She recently performed end-of-the-year check-ups on our students and we are glad to report some updates from the trip!

Thanks to Lisa and her dedication, the health of the students at The Joseph School continues to be superior to that of the other Haitian children in the Cabaret community. 28 students who are deemed at risk for summer malnutrition will be placed in our summer nutrition program, which Linda helped pioneer. This program ensures that students and their family units who may lose weight over the summer have sufficient access to healthy food.

Kennylove Georges received her scoliosis brace in May 2018. She is being treated through Healing Hands for Haiti under the care of Dr. Pascal. Lisa continues to coordinate her plan of care alongside Dr. Pascal and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Nau. Per Dr. Pascal, 6-9 months of bracing and biweekly physical therapy will determine whether surgical correction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle is needed.

As much as we could list off all of Lisa’s great work, we know you’d love to hear from her personally. Below we’ve included an excerpt from her that tells her perspective and of a story of a little girl and a baby doll:

“There are many special needs adults and children throughout the Cabaret community. One of these special needs children, Fedli was gifted a wheelchair earlier in the year by Terrell Smith, one of The Joseph School’s board members. On this trip, I was able to check-in with Fedli and see how her new wheelchair was impacting her life. I also delivered a baby doll that Terrell had sent to Fedli.”

“Needless to say, Fedli and her family have been greatly blessed by not only the gift of the wheelchair, but also by the outpouring of love offered by The Joseph School and its supporters. The gift of a baby doll seems small, but for a child who has nothing…the doll was an expression of the love we have for her and also the love God has for her as well. Watching her react to the baby doll, immediately cradling it and loving on it reminded me that every little girl deserves a baby doll…even special needs children in Haiti. It was a precious moment that I will never forget.”

We cannot thank Lisa enough for all of the time and generosity she has poured into our school. Largely thanks to her, The Joseph School students receive the proper medical care to stay healthy. Thanks for providing hope through health, Lisa!

 


Beep Beep, We have a School Bus!

Are you ready for some BIG news? We are thrilled to announce that through the prayers and generosity of many people– particularly the Three Rivers Local School District in Cleves, Ohio– we purchased our very first school bus! Previously, we rented buses from Michael’s Orphanage when mission teams were in Haiti. Now, thanks to the Three Rivers Local School District, we have our very own bus, which their community generously stocked with school supplies.

Today, more than ever, our students and staff in Haiti need a more dependable transportation option. Some of our students wake up at 5 a.m. to walk several miles to school, whereas others must rely on limited and unpredictable tap-tap drivers. This 72-passenger bus will provide a consistent and safer transportation option for our students, staff, and mission group participants.

This project– shipping a school bus– has a lot of moving parts, literally and figuratively! We want to extend a special “Thank You” to Tim Wagner, Director of Transportation and Food Services for helping us fulfill our vision of obtaining this bus. We are also grateful for Ryan Bennett, who has started raising funds in Kansas. Meagan Rebler, who started a GoFundMe in Texas to raise both awareness and funds for this bus. She’s also traveled to TJS multiple times. We could not have gotten this far without them!  However, we still have a ways to go.

Presently, Lance Whitehurst, a local Ohio bus driver, is driving the bus to Riveria Beach, Florida! The bus should ship by this weekend. As you now know, we have the bus—and thanks to the school district, it’s packed full of supplies—so now we need help to ship it! Our goal is to raise $10,000 by June 22nd, but as our cause is so urgent, we hope that prayerfully, we can raise these funds by June 15th.

When you donate, you can immediately make a difference in the lives of the children of The Joseph School. Through your kindness and generosity, we can advance in our progress to ship this bus. Every little bit helps.

Make a tax-deducible donation. 

Ryan Bennett (left) on his first trip to Haiti in August 2017. At which he traveled many miles (by car and foot) to students homes who currently walk to school every day.
Meagan Rebler (right) during her last trip to Haiti. She started a GoFund me to raise a bus in late 2017 before we had plans ourself. She’ll be retuning to Haiti in three weeks with Houston Baptist University.

 


What What! A New Truck!

But we still need to get it to Haiti.

Thanks to some incredible individuals at Lee Company — Bill Lee, Richard Perko, Travis Edwards, and Gerry Vance — we have a much needed truck for our Haitian operations!

We are so thankful and excited for this generous gift because (if you follow our Haitian Director, Bildad Michel on Facebook, then you’re likely aware that) our current TJS vehicle is experiencing countless issues. Thankfully, we now have a newer vehicle and we’re raising funds to ship it to The Joseph School in Haiti.

Bildad will be in the U.S. next week, and he plans to drive the new truck to the Miami port at which it can be shipped to Haiti. From shipping to customs, and a few other costs in between, we need to raise $5,500! Can you help us reach this goal?  

Please visit https://thejosephschool.kindful.com/?campaign=297534 to help us ship the truck!


Sailing Through Service: Sailer Financial’s Volunteer Help

Ship ahoy! Last week, Sailer Financial visited our Nashville headquarters and proved to be such a huge help to us that we CAN’T wait to share more about all of their great work! Keep reading for a snapshot of their day:

Sailer Financial took a half day before joining us to help sort curriculum and take inventory to be sent to Haiti. Much of this curriculum comes from many of our amazing supporters, who have donated books, games, and other learning tools to our office.

However, as a non-profit organization, we are often time-strapped: as our small staff is assigned to so many different projects, it is, at times, difficult to allocate resources to sort through these donated materials. We are incredibly grateful that Sailer Financial took the time to aid us in this operations process, as their dedication and positive attitudes propelled them through the work– and the afternoon.

Additionally, they worked on signage for our upcoming donor event– stay tuned for more information in this arena, soon!

With deepest gratitude, we thank you, Sailer Financial. We love our volunteers!

The Visual Story of Sailer Financial’s Day:

L to R: Andy Michael, Pamela Talley, Jenny Wilson, April James, Jeremy Hutzel

 

Visit here to learn more about Sailer Financial!


Many Missions With The Joseph School

Thanks to the Immanuel Baptist Church and Marketing Research Education Foundation Mission Teams*, Mr. Phillip has a new and safer home!

Mr. Phillip is one of our Haitian friends that was in great need of a better living situation. He was living on the TJS land way before we gained ownership in June 2015. We did not want Mr. Phillip to move so instead, we offered him a paid position with TJS to watch over the property, and he does an excellent job.

However, his previous home (see pictures below) was not very safe. It was impacted by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, and was beginning to crumble.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, our TJS Mission Teams showed up ready and willing to help! Together — Immanuel Baptist Church and MREF— funded and built a new house for Mr. Phillip. We’d also like to thank the Cumberland University team for painting his house.

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in traveling to Haiti to visit The Joseph School and participate in mission work? Email Jonaé Shaw, Development Coordinator at jonaes@thejosephschool.org.

 

*Immanuel Baptist Church Team included: Jenny Wilson, Kathryn Gnets, Melanie Dover, Steven Meriwether, Tambi Swiney and Susan Crownover; The MREF Team included: Donald Marek, Nancy Clark, Victoria Gelfeld, Susan Waltman, Katie Dennis, Sara Vergara-Muro, Federico Gallo, Jane Wilson, Tim Urmston, Jenny Karubian, Kritjana Osterhorn, Michael Korybski, Robert Gary, Carolyn Booker, Malecia Grant, Kim Johanson, Michael Sullivan, Agron Hoti, and Jim Bryson

 


Schlesinger Group Joins Marketing Research Colleagues to Support Haiti Education

Original Article published on Schlesinger Group

Early this year, Mike Sullivan, President of Schlesinger Group selected seven employees from [their] international team to accompany him on a 4-day service trip to Haiti to support The Joseph School.

[Their] team joined representatives from other marketing research companies on the trip organized by The Marketing Research Education Foundation(MREF).  The mission of the MREF is to unify, inspire and activate the marketing research community to focus its collective resources to educate children and youth worldwide. MREF is sponsoring the incoming class of first graders (pictured below) at The Joseph School to help provide meals, school supplies and uniforms to the school.

[Their] objective was to learn first-hand about education in Haiti and at The Joseph School and the struggles many students face with malnutrition and poverty. 50% of Haitian children do not get the opportunity to attend school, so showing international support is crucial to inspiring students to complete their education.

Visiting the school gave [them] a window into the daily routine of the students. [They] were inspired by the positivity of the children and the empowering messages the teachers convey to their students; “You need Haiti and Haiti needs you.” The school is not a ticket out of Haiti, but rather a foundation for the future of Haiti. It is creating a network of problem solvers equipped to tackle the biggest issues facing this country.

The MREF group got hands-on, assisting in laying a foundation for a new home for a school employee.  As a team, they achieved in three hours what would have the few local laborers three days to achieve.

Commenting on his experience, Michael Korybski, Recruiting Manager, said “This trip was life-changing for me. I strongly encourage industry colleagues to join the next visit or to get involved with the MREF in other ways. You won’t regret it.” 

Kim Johanson, Vice President, Client Solutions added “This trip allowed me to meet like-minded colleagues within the industry.  And, more importantly, I saw what it meant to give hope to people who face more adversity on a daily basis than most of us will in a lifetime.  I traveled home making a personal commitment: to return, often, to a project that is just as sustainable as the hope of its people.”

Schlesinger Group wishes to thank the MREF and, in particular, Jim Bryson, for this opportunity to come together with our industry colleagues for such a worthwhile cause.


Meeting Haiti With a Loving Heart

Guest reflections by: Tambi Swiney, Associate Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church

“As our truck approached the gate of the school property, I realized that I was smiling from ear to ear. On this sunny January morning, our mission team from Immanuel Baptist Church in Nashville was about to visit the students and teachers at The Joseph School at their new permanent location. I had walked this property twice before when it was still undeveloped, so I was eager to finally see what prior mission teams had only been able to imagine.

When we exited the truck and saw the smiling children in their pristine uniforms, I was mindful of the years of dreaming and planning and praying that had led up to this moment. As a veteran of four previous mission teams from Immanuel that have served in partnership with The Joseph School over the past five years, I knew the stories well. The glistening white school building is a monument to perseverance.

I remember how my senses (and my heart) were bombarded on my first trip to Haiti in 2013. During the first few weeks after I returned home, I often felt tears welling up as I noted the stark contrasts between the harsh living conditions and scarcity of resources I had witnessed in Haiti and the material wealth and abundant resources that surrounded me in Nashville. On my second trip, I still took note of the poverty – in particular, the burdens faced by mothers who must walk to get water, who wash their clothes in a river, who cook meals for their families over an open fire – but I also learned to pay attention to the resources that Haitians possess in abundance – joy, creativity, perseverance, patience, compassion, and love.

In Gregory Boyle’s book Tattoos on the Heart, which chronicles his work with gangs in Los Angeles, he observes, “Meeting the world with a loving heart will determine what we find there.” The faculty of The Joseph School greets the students each day with loving hearts, and they are bringing out the best in these precious children, these future leaders of the beautiful nation of Haiti. I am grateful to bear witness to their work.”


Ipsos Weekend Volunteering in Haiti: Building and Learning

Guest bloggers:  Kate Dennis and Susan Waltman

On January 18, Global Healthcare sponsored four IPSOS employees* on a working visit to Cabaret, Haiti.  We volunteered alongside Industry Leaders as part of a Market Research Educational Foundation visit.  The 2010 earthquake devastated the country’s infrastructure, and there is still so much need.  In fact, close to 59% of Haitians live under the national poverty line of $2.41 a day.

The Joseph School’s (TJS) mission is to educate the future leaders of Haiti, and our Ipsos Volunteers quickly felt inspired by TJS’s message “Believe that You Can”. After just four years, TJS already provides a free education to 90 students every day across six separate classrooms.  The school also provides lunch – which may be the only meal many children receive each day.

We worked together, helping to lay the foundation for a house for the school custodian; we chopped vegetables alongside volunteer parents, helping prepare Friday’s meal for the Children; we visited the site of a healthcare clinic (currently looking for funding), and visited a homeless shelter, an orphanage, and nearby villages where the Joseph School children live.

The IPSOS team of volunteers rallied their local offices and raised close to $5,000 to contribute to the school; the school purchased a cast iron stove, a freezer and a refrigerator for the newly built kitchen facility.  Please reach out to our travelers (listed below) if you are interested in learning more about how to help The Joseph School or visit our YouCaring fundraising site at www.youcaring.com/SupportingTheJosephSchoolHaiti.  Monies raised will be given directly to the school.  We hope to make this an annual visit, and find more ways to collaborate and contribute to the wellbeing of the school children and their families.

*Jane Wilson, Montreal Office, Federico Gallo, NY Office, Sara Vergara-Muro, London Office, and Kate Dennis, Cincinnati Office and Susan Waltman