What started with a short story read to the class resulted in a big surprise for Logan's teacher. After taking the next day off, she returned to school to find that her class was so inspired by the hardship and turmoil so many Haitians deal with daily, that they started their own impromptu fundraiser and on the first day, while at school, they collected $87!
Logan came home daily toting huge bags of change and cash, counted it and returned it to the principal the next day. Within a few days, the halls of the school were lined with promotional posters, collection jars had been delivered to all the classrooms and the kids even stood outside school bathrooms to ask for pennies. With no direction, operating on pure desire to help, these kids were accomplishing their goals!
As this evolved, I thought of only one person: Dr. Sylvia Campbell. I worked for her in Tampa during the mid to late '90's when she began traveling to Haiti annually to perform surgeries and give medical care to those in need. That was before the natural disasters that completely ripped this third world country apart. Nearly twenty years later, Dr. Campbell has gone to help up to four times per year with her organization, Village Partners International. In Mombin Crochu, they've now built a small clinic to take care of patients. They've expanded to visit other countries in need as well.
We keep in touch and I knew that she was currently in Haiti at the clinic on one of her trips. After getting the okay from Logan's teacher, I reached out to her to find out if the class could make their donation to Village Partners International. In my message, delivered to this small clinic across the world in real-time via Facebook, I reminded Dr. Campbell of a handmade, light blue paper rosary she gave me after her first trip there so many years ago, that still sits in my jewelry box today. Who would've imagined that I'd someday have a daughter whose giving spirit would lead us back together, who would be inspired to help Haiti, too.
Through tears, Dr. Campbell responded, saying she'd be "proud and honored to be part of the children's beautiful hearts
and spirits!" The $300 earned by the kids in two short weeks will go to the organization's Food for Healing program, which provides meals for patients who typically don't receive any food. Not only does it promote healing, but it supports the local economy and provides jobs, too.
I am so proud of Logan's involvement in this! And thanks to Dr. Campbell, who has handwritten a letter for me to give to each student and will likely do a quick Skype with the class, these children will have a true personal connection to how their efforts will make a difference in Haiti.
How lucky we are for our kids to have this experience at such a young age! Logan and her class have inspired me to find more ways to give to others in need and hopefully someday, to travel to Haiti to help in person! When Dr. Campbell first went all those years ago, I knew it was something I wanted to do someday; now I know it's something I want our whole family to do.
To learn more about Dr. Campbell's and VPI's efforts, watch this you tube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-u6CkvxH9s