Fall 2017
 
About us:  Helping Haitian Children, Inc. was founded in 2015 by Mary Lou Connors to support her charitable work in Haiti.  A Registered Nurse, Mary Lou began joining medical missions to Haiti 35 years ago.  Seeing the extreme need, she also starting collecting clothing, food and medicine to take with her, or ship ahead, using her own resources.  While she never solicited for donations, friends, acquaintances, extended family, patients and others would often offer modest sums in support of her work.  It came to pass that an old friend passed away.  In his obituary, his family suggested a donation to Mary Lour, implying that it would be tax-deductable.  She mentioned the dilemma to a patient who happened to be a retired attorney.  He suggested she formalize her work, start a non-profit, register as a charity and obtain the requisite tax-exemption status.  Mary Lou promptly decided that was a good idea and asked him for help.  The result is Helping Haitian Children, Inc., a Connecticut non-profit corporation to which donations are tax deductible pursuant to Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
 
 
Mary Lou's Report:  It almost goes without saying that the poeople of Haiti are among the most impoverished in the Western Hemisphere.  Much has been made recently of the devastation in Puerto Rico, where hurricane damage has damaged the infrastructure, leaving many on the island without power and water.  Well, on this dry, barren mountainside in rural Haiti, people live their entire lives with no electricity (no lights, no refrigeration, and no air conditioning); little or no health care; no nearby industry (no jobs); rocky soil (no farming); and no public education.
 
I  have witnessed this abject poverty and great need for years while participating in medical missions under the auspices of other organizations.  I sensed that a way to effect long term change would be to provide basic nutrition and education of for children.
 
For the last several years, we have focused our support to the Our Lady of Fatima School, operated by the Petits Freres de Ste. Therese in Riviere Froid, Carrefour, Haiti.
 
There are no public schools here and the only formal education comes from schools connected to local churches.  Each month we send $2000 to pay for the school lunch program.  A nutritious meal is served to 400 children three times a week.
 
Additionally, we provide tuition for 60 of the neediest area children who otherwise could not go to school.  Many more are waiting for tuition support.
 
This year we purchased for food grinding mills.  Two are being used to grind corn to make Akasan, of AKA100, a Haitian staple which can be eaten as breakfast porridge or, thinned, as a nutritious drink.  Here, it is given to older students as a drink later in the day.  The other two mills were given to two local health agent nurses who supervise the preparation and delivery of corn meal to the neediest families in the community.  They may also sell some of the corn meal to help sustain the program.  Our goal is to support Haitians helping Haitians, especially to improve their nutrition and food production.  Every six months we work with a visiting medical clinic and identify immediate health needs in this community.  In this way, we can coordinate our efforts with local public health programs.
 
High school students and other volunteers in Connecticut will package over 24,000 meals for shipment to Haiti this year.  We purchase materials in bulk from HarvestPack (harvestpack.org), which has a product that is nutritionally rich and easily digestible designed specifically for a malnourished population.  We carefully measure and pack the rice, beans and other ingredients into separate meal sized packets which are then packed into large barrels for shipment to Haiti.
 
Your gifts are bringing much hope and relief to many children in this poverty stricken area.  Each time I go I am greeted with joy-filled songs by children at the school.  On their behalf, I share their heartfelt gratitude with you.  Your faithful generosity is really appreciated.  A donation by check or Credit Card will help a lot.
 
May the blessing of this season of sharing touch your heart with joy.
 
Thank you!
 
Mary Lou 

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