|These 40 foot shipping containers are filled and sent to Haiti from Pasadena California. One Family receives requests for supplies from it's contacts in Haiti and fills them through donations from generous people and organizations in Northern California. By joining with Mission Haiti and using their shipping containers, One Family is spared the expense of shipping it's own containers.|
Another shipment was taken to the container in Pasadena in December. This one contained boxes of sheets, towels and blankets to replenish the inventory that was depleted after hurricane Maria.It also included two new Singer sewing machines and a supply of thread. We always try to include some supplies for the school children. This time we sent cases of coloring books, crayons, notebooks, a world globe and a refurbished laptop computer.
A soccer field was recently completed at the middle school in Cite Soleil which has become very popular with the youth. As a result, gang violence in this slum has been measurably reduced. This prompted a request for more sports equipment. We purchased 6 soccer balls and 5 basketballs and acquired 432 pairs of new soccer shin guards to send in this shipment. We'll continue to gather sports equipment for future shipments.
|In December we received an urgent request from Catholic Charities for bicycles for children who will be attending an annual Christmas party in Oakland. They expected 85 children from poor and homeless families to be there and they wanted to give each child a bike. They were short at least 15 bikes. We contacted our sources of bikes and came up with 25 of which we were able to get 20 repaired, cleaned and ready to go in a day. We delivered them along with ten family hygiene packs to be given to families who need them.|
|There is a continual need for hygiene supplies, wheel chairs, walkers and canes. Pictured are the latest donations which will soon be leaving for Central America.|
|This year One Family repaired and shipped it's 1500th bicycle. Many have provided transportation for adults and often an emotional uplift for those in dire situations. Over the years, bikes have been shipped and given away to those in need in 8 countries from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Croatia to Nicaragua and Peru. They've also been given to migrant worker families in Northern California (120 bikes) and to homeless people in Oakland California (59 bikes) who needed transportation to their jobs. We are grateful for the generosity of those who donated these bikes, the repair parts and their time to make this possible.|
One Family assembled two mobile audio visual carts with portable screens to test in the Cite Soleil middle school classrooms and for adult education.The carts, with the included DVD video courseware and internet connected computers, will enable instructors to give visual presentations for the students in their classes. For example, one of the courses is a highly acclaimed 10 DVD set having the muppets teach english. Included are DVD courses teaching geography and math and also several movies with educational content. This will be a new medium for the teachers and students. If these carts work out as we anticipate they will, we'll assemble more and include them in future shipments. This shipment should arrive in Haiti by September then begin the arduous unpredictable process of clearing Haitian customs.
The Spring shipment also included two electronic keyboards and a guitar for the music classes in Cite Soleil and much needed classroom supplies.
One Family is working with two local schools and the local food bank to set up a “backpack program” which gives children from poor families a backpack full of food to take home each Friday. The initial goal is to have over 50 children and their families being served each week. The program has received local acclaim and is being expanded to other schools in the area. In addition, One Family is working with four local schools to open their own food pantry which will be supported through fund raising and grants. These food pantries will enable each school to help families who are in need within their community.
At Thanksgiving, One Family partnered with the McAllen Independent School District, Morris Middle School Students, Student Council, Communities In Schools of Hidalgo County, Parents, Teachers, HEB Food Store and the local Wal-Mart Supercenter to help provide all the food for a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. Through the help of the school's Counselors, Teachers and other Administrators 71 families in need were identified and they each were given a large box of canned goods and a 12 - 20 lb. Turkey.
|One Family once again teamed up with CIS and Morris Middle School for it's very first Christmas Shoe Drive. Our Goal was to take 60 Morris students from low income families on a shopping Spree to Rack Room Shoes. The students were selected by the school staff, counselors, teachers, and social worker. Parents and Volunteers transported the students to Rack Room Shoes where there they were met by One Family Director Kevin Smith and his family and volunteers to assist the children to pick out their new shoes. The shoe drive was a huge success. We were able to buy shoes for 81 children. They also received a gift bag full of goodies including candies, a small toy and even a pair of socks.|
|Isabella Smith, daughter of Kevin Smith Director of One Family, noticed that a number of her classmates couldn't afford halloween costumes so they could participate in the school's Fall Festival. Working with her school's administration, One Family provided the costumes for 17 children.|
Looking at these beautiful faces it’s hard to imagine them living in the slums of Cite Soleil pictured on the left. But that is just where they live. Each day they put on their uniforms and come to their school where they are taught and given nourishing meals. The schools were built by an American priest who has been working in Haiti for 20 years. Each day about 10,000 children are attending the K-12 schools throughout Haiti. The schools are staffed by local Haitians who are teachers, administrators, cooks, custodians and many supporting workers. They are paid by donations from generous people in the US.
Members of One Family were invited to spent a week in Haiti to find out how they can help. As you can see in the picture, the classrooms are outfitted with just tables and chairs. There are blackboards. Instruction is lecture based and could benefit by having teaching aids to illustrate the lessons, audio visual technology to bring the lessons to life and musical instruments for their music school. One Family will begin providing these with a shipment in early 2016 and will be looking into providing medical equipment for the clinics and water purification equipment as well.
|It takes many truck loads to provide enough clothing, bedding and bicycles for a Christmas party for 200 migrant workers and their families. It has become an annual project for One Family to pick up these items from the East Bay Center for Creative Reuse, to repair the bikes and deliver everything to the organization hosting the party.|
|One Family purchased and shipped power tools and hand tools for job training classes in Cite Soleil Haiti. Adult students are being taught marketable wood working, masonry and plumbing skills to help them obtain jobs.|
|Five gallon buckets are a valuable commodity in Haiti. It’s not uncommon to see people carrying buckets of water on their heads. They could walk long distances several times a day to bring water home for their families. One Family shipped 100 of these buckets in our 2014 shipment.|
One Family provided 30 bicycles for children of farm workers in central California. Left picture: The bikes are lined up waiting to be given to children during an annual Christmas party. Receiving a bicycle (right) is a highlight of this event for the children.
One Family also provided 50 warm coats and 45 sweaters for the children’s parents.
|Our truck is loaded inside and out with warm clothing and sleeping bags destined for the homeless in Redding California. This winter has been particularly cold. The shipment was completely distributed within minutes of arriving in Redding.|
|The situation in Haiti is still concerning. It’s been four years since a powerful earth quake devastated that country and, while some progress is being made to rebuild, there is still so much yet to be done. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems and suffering in Haiti and to be put off by the reports of government corruption there. Fortunately rebuilding their infrastructure isn’t our mission. We focus on projects that help people. There are plenty of those. One Family doesn’t have a presence in Haiti but, like each of the other countries we have “adopted”, we’ve developed working relationships there that we trust. There are three organizations we work with in Haiti and two of them will take our material aid directly to those in need. In 2013 we sent aid to the Missionaries of Charity who have 8 projects in Haiti situated throughout the country (running an orphanage, providing elderly care, managing a care facility for infirm and dying infants, helping abandoned children and destitute families). We also sent assistance to an organization which has had amazing success in building and running schools with daily hot lunches for thousands of children, providing medical care and agricultural development there.|
|Responding to the terrible situation in Haiti, One Family obtained 6 pallets of much needed medical supplies and medical equipment, and 2 tons of rice and beans and shipped them to the St. Damien Hospital in Tabarre, Haiti. The shipment arrived in June 2011|
|There is always a need for bicycles. They provide an emotional lift for children and are a valuable means of transportation. During 2011, 52 bikes were repaired and shipped to an orphanage in Honduras and 35 more were repaired and prepared to ship to an orphanage in El Salvador. One Family has repaired and shipped over 1,400 bikes to refugees and orphanages in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Haiti.|
|One Family also obtained 8 hospital beds, 8 visitor chairs (both pictured in the clinic) and patient tables for a new clinic in Rancho Santa Fe Honduras. This clinic was founded to serve 500 children who make their home at an orphanage there and for the elderly residents of Casa Eva, a rest home near the orphanage.|
|The farm workers who migrate to California for work often come without any posessions and live in very difficult conditions. Many stay in tents out in the orchards and fields where they will be picking the crops. This is the only shelter available so they endure it for the time they are in the area which could be several months. Each year One Family purchases hygiene supplies in bulk, repackages them into 144 individual packets (pictured) and distributes them to the workers. One Family is also working with the East Bay Center for Creative Reuse to provide tents, camp stoves, sleeping bags and warm clothing help improve their living conditions.|