Spring 2021 Newsletter

Happy Mother’s Day to Mama Dilene

Madame Dilene Jacques has run the day-to-day operations of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Orphanage since the first day in 2006. The children address her as Mama Dilene as she guides them through their daily lives.

Usually, she has a very professional demeanor when she is around the 75 children, but from time to time she does get close to the kids and lets them know how much she cares. One of the boys that were in the initial group of children in 2006 is Dimitry Jeudy. He will be graduating from high school this year. Dimitry recently connected with Grow Haiti’s Children through social media. In his messages, he is always expressing “hello” and “thank you” to the supporters of Grow Haiti’s Children.

Please continue to help Grow Haiti’s Children assist Mama Dilene and our 75 children in Jeremie by making a generous donation in Dilene’s Honor. Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day to Mama Dilene as she carries out her worthy calling.

Mother’s Day Matching Donation – $5,000

Generous supporters of Grow Haiti’s Children have committed to match new donations made in Honor of Madame Dilene or a special Mom in your life up to $5,000. Your help is greatly appreciated to reach this goal. You may donate online at: https://growhaitischildren.org/donate/

Letter from the Board President
Spring is here and like most springs, it feels like there is excitement in the air.
Most everybody I know has been vaccinated for Covid or is signed up to be vaccinated. Although things aren’t 100% back to normal, there is HOPE.

Fortunately, Haiti was spared from most of the ravages of Covid that was suffered in the United States. Because of Covid, we did not get to see our friends in Haiti last year, but a small group is hoping to travel there in May.

Some of the older teenagers from Jeremie, are on Instagram and WhatsApp, and as a result, we know the kids are doing well and are very appreciative of what you, through Grow Haiti’s Children, have allowed them to do.

Like most teenagers in the US, they have been able to grow physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. They dream of their future in Jeremie. Most children in Haiti are not so fortunate. They owe their good fortune to all of you as well as Father Garry and Madame Dilene.

In addition to Covid, Haiti has been in a political crisis for the last three years. There have been numerous uprisings trying to get their president to resign. Furthermore, under Haiti’s constitution, Jovenal Moise’s term in office was supposed to expire on February 7th of this year. He claims he has one more year in office.

Because Jeremie is 6 hours by car from Port -au-Prince, it has been spared most of the turmoil in the country.

Our upcoming travel plans include catching a domestic flight to Jeremie, shortly after we arrive in Port-au-Prince. We will keep a low profile once we reach Jeremie. It is important to us, as well as the children in the orphanage, that we continue our personal, familial like relationship.

We will also conduct a business review meeting with Father Garry to go over budgets and operational challenges and opportunities. We will review the progress of each child and meet the new children.

Christmas Giving Season 2021

We are reaching out to all our supporters and asking for your help. Do you know how companies, organizations, and schools decide who to support during the Christmas Giving Season? They form a committee in late spring to start their planning. Do you work for a company or organization that might be looking to support or make a grant to a charity this coming Giving Season? Please volunteer for our “holiday planning committee” and advocate for the good work we do with the children in Jeremie. We need to grow and develop our donor base. We would love to hear from you! Let us know what we can do to support you. Our phone number and email address is on our website. You can call 602-319-6751 at any time for information. Thank you.

Calendar of Events

Including 2021 Appreciation Dinner
Entering 2021, Grow Haiti’s Children hoped to have a full schedule of events similar to 2019. We are constantly reevaluating due to Covid. Our events serve the following three purposes:
1. To give our supporters the opportunity to stay informed and ask questions of GHC representatives working the events.
2. To show our supporters that Grow Haiti’s Children is still working hard and enthusiastically towards our goals of helping the children in Jeremie.
3. Raising funds for our Jeremie mission.

We are planning our 2021 Grow Haiti’s Children Appreciation Dinner. We are planning for October and hosting it at a hotel, restaurant, or venue that can accommodate approximately 125 guests.

We are also looking into producing an informational video with a live component in the next several months.

We continue to sell our Haitian wares at open-air venues like Mesa Swap Meet and the American Legion Hall in Chandler on select weekends.

GHC will also have occasional fundraisers in conjunction with local restaurants where we receive 20% or more of the gross sales.

Also look for our Fundraising Match Challenges that are typically held for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Christmas.

Further information on these events will be provided by email or posted on our website.

Thank you to all Donors!
Our web page has been recently updated and allows you to specify if a donation is in honor of, in memory of, or a legacy gift. We are honored that so many have wanted to recognize a special loved one in their lives. Two such campaigns are the annual Honor your Mother and Honor your Father campaigns. We have donors who will match your donations up to certain dollar amounts. (A Challenge grant). Additionally, we have received some special donations recently in memory of loved ones who have passed away.

One recent donation was in memory of Fr. Rick McGuire, OSC former Associate pastor at St. Andrew the Apostle in Chandler, from 2005 until his death in 2015. Words used by St Andrew Parishioners to describe Fr. Rick included: “positive, patient, confident, calm, down to earth, quietly enthusiastic”. Fr. Rick professed vows with the Crosier Order in 1966 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1973. He served in Minnesota prior to arriving in Phoenix in 2004. (information and photo from Catholic Sun 10/8/2015). Donate at: https://growhaitischildren.org/donate/

An Inspiring Mom…

Anita Zumwalt, Board Member

Grow Haiti’s Children board Member, Anita Zumwalt, shared the following story and picture about her mother.

My mother, Velma L. Kotte, attended elementary and high school in a small community in Wisconsin. Her life’s dream was to become a nurse as her grandmother was a midwife to the doctor in the community. Velma attended and graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Madison, Wisconsin. On January 17, 1939, the Wisconsin Board of Health certified my mother as a registered nurse.

My mother married my father, Arnold W. Rettammel, on May 8, 1943, at Gesu Catholic Church in Milwaukee, WI. Life soon became busy as 4 children arrived. As we grew and became school-aged, my mother continued nursing in the hospital Her favorite area was with babies and children. She worked in Tomah Memorial Hospital for many years in the OB department. In later years she worked in a nursing home until she was 75 years young.

My mother also enjoyed activities such as gardening, being a 4-H Leader, and high school CCD teacher.

She was a dedicated nurse. Below is an excerpt from the Nurses Prayer, which she kept close to her heart.

“Dear Jesus, I know it is YOU whom I tend, as from room to room, among the sick I wend my way. Thank you for allowing me to be YOUR nurse. Give me the faith that I may see YOU in every patient. Give me the sympathy to serve ALL with the generosity that will prove I am in love with YOU, My GOD, my patient Divine.”

A Nurse’s night prayer, Fr. Anthony Maher, CP

Instagram Message

April 12, 2021 7:17 am

Making connections at Mesa Market Place.

Over the last several months, members of the Grow Haiti’s Children Board and volunteers have been at a booth at Mesa Market Place. We would like to thank Karen Kohl for her connections with Joan Wells.

We have sold many of the items that have been made by the girls at OLPH as well as stitched cards from Sophia Sewers ministry.

Additionally, we have been able to network and tell our story to people from all over the United States. Many of them have visited Haiti, have connections with civic groups such as Kiwanis, and we even got to meet Santa Tim, visiting from Northern California. Please share our newsletter with a friend and help our connections continue to grow.

Black History Month-February 2022

Grow Haiti’s Children is reaching out to Catholic elementary and high schools to offer them a new lesson plan and approach on how they can celebrate Black History Month. From the very beginning, Haitian and American history are intertwined.

1. Christopher Columbus first set foot in the new world on what is now Haiti. On Christmas Eve in 1492, as Columbus was preparing to return to Spain, the Santa Maria ran aground and was destroyed by reefs near Cap-Haïtien, Haiti.

2. Haiti was ceded from the Spanish to the French in 1697. France fought against the British during the American Revolution. The French recruited freed slaves into their army from Haiti to fight in the revolution. The all-black Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue numbering 545 soldiers provided cover for the British in the Siege of Savannah in 1779. Pictured below is a monument honoring the Haitian soldiers in Savannah, Georgia.

3. Slaves in Haiti are the only slaves that have successfully revolted and won their freedom. The revolution began in 1791 and was led by Toussaint Louverture. Louverture made peace with the French in 1795 and became governor-general of current-day Haiti. In January 1802 Napoleon invaded the island with the intent of reestablishing slavery. Another revolt ensued and the French colonial forces surrendered in 1803.

4. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 brought into the United States 828,000 square miles. Napoleon’s failure to put down the slave revolution in Haiti along with an impending war with Great Britain led to French economic difficulties prompting Napoleon to offer Louisiana for sale and retreat from the Western Hemisphere. The United States paid about $15,000,000 for the land.

While offering to teach American and Haitian History during Black History Month, Grow Haiti’s Children hopes to expose students to the opportunities of “giving back” through Grow Haiti’s Children. If you or a family member have children attending either a Catholic elementary or high school we would love to be introduced to an administrator and/or teacher. Would you be willing to provide an introduction, which would be most helpful in supplementing our direct marketing.

Thank you to all who supported Grow Haiti’s Children; we look forward to more events like these.

Community Programs that support Grow Haiti’s Children

We are appreciative of those who help in the following ways with matching grants and community programs:

Benevity program – Intel employees are able to have their donations matched through the Intel Benevity Program.

AmazonSmile – consider your next purchase from Amazon using the Amazon Smile Foundation (smile.amazon.com)

Fry’s – Connect your Fry’s thank you card to their community awards program Grow Haiti’s Children—group LL532