how we started
Everyone who is close to me knows that Haiti was not my piece of cake. I always said that I will never go back to Haiti under any circumstance. I allowed my passport to expire to maintain my position on not going to Haiti because of the bad reports that keep spreading for over the past few years. We never know the plan of God for us. That changed in December 2011, when my Grandmother passed away; I did not even hesitate to go to the funeral, I had to get an emergency passport the day before I traveled.
There were 6 of us in the car coming from the Port-de-Paix airport going to grandma’s house; on our way there in one of the marketplaces there was a lady begging for money with two children, one looks like a preschool age and the other one was a baby, so small and malnourished that you could not predict their age. The baby was wearing what I can describe as an old torn shirt and a dark color handkerchief as a diaper, we decided to give her some money, she crossed the street holding the baby to get the money in heavy traffic; on her way back she almost got hit by a motorcycle. My heart was breaking, my cousin started to cry. My thoughts at that moment were, I wish I had brought some of my daughter’s clothes for her. As a mother, I was really disturbed by what I saw, my thoughts reverting to me and my two children. That was the breaking point for me, my life changed at that moment. I knew I could not change the whole country, but I can make a difference in some childrens’ life. I thought about it, how I am going to do this. That night when I got to my grandmother’s house, my mother was already there, I told her to find me a little baby girl who is in need and I’ll take care of her, and please take a picture of her. I was in Haiti only for two days, I did not have the time and my mother was going to be there for several weeks. After the funeral I left Haiti and came back to the U.S. Shortly after I came back my mother called me and said, there is one little girl whose mother died a few weeks ago, her grandmother can barely take care of her, would you mind to care for her. I did not answer her, that night I thought about my grandmother’s house being empty after she passed away and so many kids without a home, food and so on. I called my mother and told her, find me 5 children in need, take pictures of them for me, I will help them. When I made that decision, I did not have a saving account set aside for this, I did not even think about how much this might cost. All I could think about was how can those children survive in such living conditions? How can a mother wake up every day without food for her babies? All I had was God by my side and I wanted to make a change and I knew with God everything is possible. God will send the right people like you to help those precious children. Out of desperation, to start helping those children as soon as possible, I quickly took action, rushed and started an organization. I did not feel like I could waste any time.
I wanted to help as many children as possible, but I could only start with 5 because the financial burden will rest on my shoulders alone. With the help of family, friends, co-workers and fundraisers like car washes, garage sales and items donated by friends, co-workers, multiple ceramics provided by pastor Michael, my own personal items, working two jobs one part-time one full time as an RN, I’m currently providing them with everything, from food, medical needs, school, clothes, toys, beds, a place to call home with two paid nannies to care for them.
I am very proud to announce, as of June 2012; the hard work by everyone has produced our official organization, “The Children’s Garden of Love and Faith. We are a non-profit organization licensed by the State of Florida. We are moving forward to provide even more than I had dreamed of for the children of Villaceau, Haiti.