Thursday, June 10, 2010
So many generous gifts
After the earthquake, the students at Montrose School (where I went to school from sixth through twelfth grade) raised about 2000 dollars for LCS through “coin wars” and a benefit concert. Though they understood why it was critical to just send money, they also wanted to give some kind of gift to the students directly. So they worked with their art teacher to create eight beautiful posters that represent LCS and Haiti and HOPE. They used some of my photos to get ideas and others just used their imaginations, and the results were amazing. Liz checked the huge tube of posters as her luggage, and on Thursday afternoon we spread them out on the basketball court for the kids to see. They loved them. They loved the representations of themselves and their school and appreciated the thoughtfulness of the artists so much. They also loved reading the artists’ biographies so much, through which they learned things like what lacrosse is and what after school program means and which year in school are sophomores. Almost immediately they suggested making a gift in return for their new faraway friends, and in just two afternoons, a little crew of four 16 year old boys created four drawings for the girls at Montrose as a way to say thank you. I don’t know … I just can’t help thinking that these are the kind of experiences that change kids’ whole view of the world and their own place in it.
Earlier in the spring, Prospect Hill Academy, the school where I have worked for the past 8 years, announced that they would contribute about $3000 of their “PHA fund for Haiti” to the Haitian Project and Louverture Cleary School. This money will be used to underwrite the programs within the school that support the neighborhood children who are too young for LCS. Presently, there are eleven children in full time day care / preschool, about 50 who come for lunch and play time each afternoon, and about 25 school aged children who do not attend school consistently are attending classes here taught by LCS students. I think this program is such a perfect match for PHA. It’s about kids helping kids, and about reaching out to the community outside of one’s own little world. I hope that one of these years some PHA kids will get to come here and see it for themselves!
And at least once a week I receive an e-mail from a friend or family member reporting that some other friend, or a local elementary school, or somebody’s church had a fundraiser and raised a hundred or three thousand dollars of the Haitian Project. It’s amazing to see how many people have actually followed through on their well intentioned promises to do something to help. If this many people actually stay engaged in Haiti’s progress in the critical months and years ahead, then I am truly hopeful that Haiti can rebuild itself into a better country. It’s going to be a long road though, and the work has only just begun.