Even before the 2010 earthquake that rocked it to its foundation, Haiti’s ranking as the poorest nation in the western hemisphere was an indicator of the gap between the life we know as Americans and the need that exists there. Without social services to provide for even the basic nutritional and medial needs, children are often abandoned or worse when parents don’t have the means to care for them. The 2010 earthquake took a bad situation for the children of Haiti and blew it wide open. Many have lost their parents as a result of the earthquake and now struggle, malnourished, to survive on the streets on their own without care. Many, in fact, have already been lost due to such circumstances.
For a relative few Haitian children, in comparison to the size of the need that is there, hope has been rekindled thanks to organizations that have taken them in. One such organization, The Hands & Feet Project, established in 2004, now cares for about 100 orphaned and abandoned children in two different locations in Haiti. Their population of children is organized into houses which allow them to grow and thrive in a Christ-centered, family structured environment where they are cared for, receive education, medical care, shelter, and food. The mission of the Hands & Feet Project is to give these kids a chance to grow up and become healthy, educated, Christians that can have a significant and positive impact on the future of Haiti, in terms of the economy of Haiti, the Christian faith of Haiti, and the nation as a whole.
Now, in 2013, The Hands & Feet Project is trying to raise awareness and gather funding to support the building of new structures that will allow them to double their capacity and care for more of these children who would otherwise have very little hope of surviving.
I signed on to participate with a handful of other people in the 2013 Country Music Half Marathon as a means of raising money to support the mission of The Hands & Feet Project in Haiti. As a part of this fundraising campaign I started growing a beard on November first and was gratefully able to find sponsors to fund its continual, untrimmed growth through the Half Marathon on 4/27/13 at a rate of $5 per day. So, with a total of $740 raised by the beard, I will now be wearing this beard through the 27th and attempting to complete a 13.1 mile run with it before I shave it off. Since we reached full funding for the beard, a couple more sponsors have stepped forward to bring the total raised to $900.
Matthew 25:24-40 describes part of a parable that Jesus shared:
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Likewise, James 1:27 states:
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
It would mean a great deal to me, but, more importantly to the kids in Haiti that will benefit from it, if you would prayerfully consider making a donation to The Hands & Feet Project. I would love to, at least, reach a $1000 total and we’re not that far off.
If you are willing, you can donate directly online to the Hands & Feet Project at http://www.handsandfeetproject.org
If you do donate, please let me know by e-mailing me or posting on the Beards Hands & Feet Project Facebook page so that I can keep track as we close in on the $1,000 goal.
EVERY. BIT. HELPS.
For more information about my fund-raising effort involving the beard, the half marathon, and The Hands & Feet Project, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/BeardsHandsAndFeetProject
To learn more about The Hands & Feet Project itself, visit their official page at http://www.handsandfeetproject.org