Many of you know that our family has a nonprofit called Building Hope in Haiti. My heart is extremely heavy right now because of an overwhelming situation that our friends in Haiti are facing. Our Father Roosevelt, from the extremely impoverished mountain of Morne L’Hopital Haiti, has a relationship with the Gesu Parish down at Marquette University. The people of Gesu funded the clinic on the mountain and the school lunch program. Unfortunately, Gesu is not able to provide the financial support this year. Not having church + people out of work = lower offerings, all due to COVID. I know, not a unique predicament for these times. There is another nonprofit, Project Fleri, that has offered to pay for the clinic’s nurse. One of our board members who sponsors 5 kiddos and has made several trips to Haiti with our daughter, Jessie, has committed $100/month toward the clinic. We will need to find an additional $400/mo to keep the clinic, which also vaccinates the kiddos, open.

The school lunch program serves the whole school, 600 kids a day. I am estimating that 100 are sponsored through Building Hope in Haiti, as we have additional students who go down to Port Au Prince for trade school, etc. The cost is 50 cents/day/child. Sounds cheap at first, but doing the math: 50 cents x 600 kiddos = $300/day. $300/day x 5 days a week = $1500/week. That means $6000/month, $60,000 a year! Yes, the estimate is for the whole school, not just our sponsored kiddos. We need 5 fish and 2 loaves of bread!

Our first priority at this point is to find the additional $400/month to keep the clinic running. After that, we will work on funding the lunch program, perhaps just 2 or 3 days a week, if necessary. As I write this, the tears are flowing as my heart aches at the thought of the kiddos going hungry. The school lunch program was a guarantee that students would get rice and beans in their bellies at least once a day. Additionally, we needed to come up with another $1500 to purchase two masks for each of the school children and the teachers, plus soap and bleach. Many of the classrooms have benches for the students to sit, one right next to each other. Social distancing is a luxury they do not have.

I am so grateful for OUR SAVIOR’S ENDOWMENT COMMITTEE! They generously responded to my plea for help, providing a check for $1300. This will cover the cost of many of the masks! MESI! I know this may sound like a crazy mission. We started down the path 7 years ago. Jessie had just come back from Haiti, feeling overwhelmed. She had just found out that there were not 42, but rather 102 kiddos who DREAMED of going to school. I told her that God had big plans for her. And He did (we have about 120 sponsored students, preschool through trade school), and still does. I know that many many people are experiencing difficult times right now. I get that!

But I am asking for your prayers, any financial assistance you may be moved to provide and that you share our need with friends and family. Corporate support would also be amazing. For those of you able to help, checks can be written to BUILDING HOPE in HAITI and either left in the offering basket, dropped off at church or mailed to me: Jill Gigante, 5455 Cascade Drive, West Bend, WI 53095. If you would like a receipt, please include your email address. Online donations can be made by visiting our website: Click on Give Hope and choose how you would like your money spent.

Trusting that through Him, even this is possible,

Jill Gigante 262-388-0273