Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Community Unites to Provide Hope for Haiti

Demarest, NJ: Immediately after Hurricane Matthew tore through Haiti in October 2016, the Academy of the Holy Angels mustered its forces to help the island nation rebuild. This month, the multi-event Hope for Haiti effort concluded with a Flapjack Fundraiser that netted $861, bringing the overall total to $5,776. 

As a result, three Haitian families will rebuild their homes and will have access to clean water, improved sanitation, and health care. They will receive livestock and training so they can earn a living, and their children can go to school, and not just fight to survive.

AHA’s Hope for Haiti effort is a partnership with the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who sponsor the Academy, and Beyond Borders.

AHA Director of Campus Ministry Kathy Sylvester pointed out that the successful project is a perfect illustration of the school’s 2016-17 theme: “In unity is our strength.”

One of the Haitian students who attends AHA also pointed out that the words “L’union Fait la Force” (Unity is our strength) are featured on the Haitian flag.

This month’s Flapjack Fundraiser drew many members of the school community, including SSNDs, who traveled to New Jersey from Wilton, Connecticut.

“I just thought that it was wonderful to see the girls interacting with the sisters who had traveled down from Wilton,” said AHA Campus Minister Maryanne Miloscia. “Since we had partnered with the SSNDs and Beyond Borders it was great to see the sisters and students together…The sisters were excited to have the girls tell them all the things that they do at Holy Angels and many of the sisters were proud to tell us that they were graduates of Holy Angels.”

When Hope for Haiti was organized, the school community’s goal was $1,800, enough to support one Haitian family for 18 months. However, the response to the school’s various fundraisers was so great that twice that amount had been raised by December. The goal was then adjusted with the aim of providing support to a third family.

Recently, AHA received some information about two of the families the school community is already sponsoring.

Both families live in rural villages on Haiti’s Lagonav Island, and both had been experiencing ongoing hardships, including chronic hunger, before the hurricane arrived.

Beyond Borders has already constructed a new home for one of these families. That structure includes a water purification system and a latrine. This family has also been provided with livestock, which will help them build income. In addition, the two children will be able to complete primary school.

Construction on the second family’s home is due to begin shortly.

Now a third family will benefit from this vital program.

AHA’s Hope for Haiti effort included a variety of fundraisers, from the Halos for Haiti photo booth event to the Sweet Hearts for Haiti Bake Sale. Several AHA clubs and organizations also sponsored events that helped contribute to the cause.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

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