How it all started!
In 1999, Deacon Joe Parlapiano was invited to work in a twelve day medical mission in Haiti. Being a lawyer by trade and not a doctor, Deacon Joe managed the paperwork and files – nothing quite as glamorous as healing the ultra poor, but necessary…. not only as support for the mission, but also to nurture a dream born some six months earlier, on a previous trip to the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
In 2000, Deacon Joe changed parishes, and the dream became reality at St. Joseph’s in Lincoln Park, NJ. Father Dennis Hogan encouraged Deacon Joe to follow his heart in ministry, and under the guidance and with the “Haiti Smarts” of an old friend, Normand Varieur, Deacon Joe located the community of Grand Vincent, a village high in the mountains of Western Haiti – not far from the City of Jeremie, Department of Grand Anse. A remarkable community – so poor, yet so aware that education of its children was the pathway out of their poverty.
You can help!
And how have we come this far in a place that’s not really so far? Through hundreds of families and individuals who have chosen to either “sponsor” our kids or contribute to our “capital fund”. Sponsorship costs $75 per year for each child. Sponsors receive photos and names of their kids – the capital fund is for those who wish to be part of our work in Grand Vincent, without making a continuing commitment to a child. And it’s all possible because every dollar contributed goes directly toward the education of our kids. There are no middlemen (or women). Our committee volunteers its time and talent and we even pay our own travel expenses to/from Grand Vincent. We deal directly with the construction workers (all local), the teachers, book dealers, and most importantly our kids and their families. We hope to eventually educate our students to the point of making university scholarships a real possibility.
We are not trying to substitute our values for those of the people of Grand Vincent but we are dedicated to giving them the very best possible educational experiences one could obtain in Haiti….. and at no cost to those whose family income is usually less than one dollar per day. We have all joined together with our brothers and sisters and our kids, in Grand Vincent, for between us all there beats…… “One Heart for Haiti”.
We are a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of New Jersey and we are a 501(c)(3) public charity under the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax-deductible.