Holiday For Haiti

Photos+courtesy+of+Taylor+Stanley
Back to Article
Back to Article

Holiday For Haiti

Photos courtesy of Taylor Stanley

Photos courtesy of Taylor Stanley

Photos courtesy of Taylor Stanley

Photos courtesy of Taylor Stanley

Erin Kelly, features writer

The flickering light from the campfire behind him created a dramatic ambiance as Joe White launched into his speech about Kanakuk’s charity mission project, Kanakuk Haiti. It was the 2009 closing ceremony at the Christian summer camp, and White, camp director, made his final remarks before sending his campers home.

He described the efforts to provide the impoverished youth of Haiti with schools, food and basic necessities. White drew smiles from the crowd as he related the inspiring memories of Kanakuk Haiti providing each Haitian child a Christmas gift filled with stickers, soap, spoons and more. He finished his speech with a call to action, inviting his campers to join in the cause. The campers, including Bridget Sheridan, were captivated by White’s every last word. Inspired by his speech, Bridget decided to help raise money for Kanakuk Haiti.

Five years later, Bridget’s involvement with Kanakuk Haiti remains strong. She said she enjoys making a difference in the world, even if her contribution is little.

“We got blessed with really good lives,” Bridget, senior, said. “So, I think it’s important to try and give back to people who are less fortunate.”

This year, Bridget raised over $1,800, allowing her to send 120 Christmas bags to Haiti. To accomplish this success, Bridget wrote letters to her relatives and close family friends, asked her church for donations and sold T-shirt tanks with the Kanakuk Haiti logo on them.

Last year, Bridget founded the club Hands on Helping at KHS. The club focuses on making a positive impact in the lives of children who need it, picking a new service project each month to support. This past October, Hands on Helping focused on helping Kanakuk Haiti. Bridget organized a “Holiday for Haiti” early Christmas party in Kirkwood Park through Hands on Helping where she collected donations of money and supplies such as toothpaste to pack Christmas bags for Haitian youth.

Meghan Sheridan, sophomore and original member of the club, joined Hands on Helping not because it was her sister’s club, but because she liked the way Hands on Helping interacted with unique charities each month. This was Meghan’s first year helping with Kanakuk Haiti.

“I’m really proud of all the work Bridget’s put into her project,” Meghan said. “This was my first year helping her with Kanakuk Haiti. It was a lot of work, but also a positive experience for us.”

Gina Woodard, Hands on Helping club sponsor, said she was honored when Bridget came to her and asked her to sponsor the club. She said she is proud of all the good Bridget has done for Haiti through Hands on Helping.

“Bridget is not the kind of person who’s going to do something halfway,” Woodard said. “If she’s going to do something, she’s going to do it the right way. She organized her Kanakuk Haiti project the right way and had a great success.”

Bridget said her ultimate goal is to go with the Kanakuk team to deliver the Christmas gifts personally in Haiti. In order to do so, she must make at least 200 Christmas bags due to shipping requirements.

“Going to Haiti seems like it [would] be a life-changing experience,” Bridget said. “Joe White emailed me a video of the Kanakuk kids getting off the bus with the bags and all the Haiti school kids running up to the bus. The look on their faces was priceless–I think I watched it at least 27 times.”

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story