Rachelle is a parishioner of ROCOR’s St. John of Shanghai Church in Les Cayes, Haiti, and washes other people’s dirty laundry by hand to support her two kids.
This is an emergency.
At this moment, Rachelle’s hands are raw and bleeding. Again.
Rachelle is only 42, but her joints are always stiff and sore, and the skin on her fingers is always red and swollen. Rachelle is a laundress. She lives in Les Cayes, Haiti, and washes other people’s dirty laundry by hand to support her two kids. She is a widow and has no one who can help her take care of her two boys – Jean, 8, and Jules, 10.
I hope you might be the one who can help her.
Because the boys need shoes, clothes, and books, Rachelle doesn’t even think about toys. The boys don’t care much, either. Who would, when what bothers them the most is… hunger?
Jean and Jules are used to going to bed hungry. Used to waking up hungry. Used to the hunger pains throughout the day. That’s just how life is when you grow up in Haiti.
Can you imagine how horrible it must be to resign yourself to this life?
But last December, life got worse. Rachelle is weak. Her health is getting worse from washing load after load of laundry in cold water, scrubbing it against the washboard with cheap, harsh detergent…
Last Saturday, she couldn’t do a single load. The $2 a day she was used to making to feed her family became $1, and then – $0. In the last few weeks, everything got worse, not just for Rachelle, but for everyone in Haiti, as the country has plunged into social unrest and political turmoil.
At least she has a roof over her head. (if you can call that a roof), and her walls don’t move with every gust of wind.
Yet Rachelle’s family is one of the lucky ones. Yes, you read right. She considers herself to be far better off than some of her neighbors. At least she has a roof over her head (if you can call that a roof – take a look at the picture on the left), and her walls don’t move with every gust of wind. Rachelle proudly calls it her house but in reality – it’s a pile of rubble!
There are hundreds of families like Rachelle’s in Haiti – yes, among the members of ROCOR’s Orthodox Mission in Haiti. It’s the widows with multiple children; men, crippled during the earthquake of 2010… Even the adults can’t read or write. Most don’t have any marketable skills. They can’t afford to send their kids to school… So the circle of poverty continues…
They farm if they have land, they run errands for others, they wash other people’s clothes and floors… They survive as best they can – in a country that is too crippled by political instability and poverty to help. In a world that doesn’t seem to care.
But I know that you do. I know that you are a caring person, willing to help your brothers and sisters in crisis.
That’s why I’m writing to you today. I’m inviting you not just to save families like Rachelle’s from hunger today. There is a small group of families that some Fund for Assistance members have been supporting monthly through our Haiti Orthodox Family Relief program (HOFR). Especially vulnerable members of the mission in Haiti receive a small stipend that allows them to survive.
And today, I’m asking you to join them.
By joining today, you will provide Rachelle with so much hope and gratitude to God, as well as a hearty meal for her family, and the knowledge that she is no longer alone
If you can’t commit to monthly support, any gift will be helpful to Rachelle and her boys. Even $2 will allow the family survive for a full day.
But I am asking you to take one step further – a small step that will have a very big impact. I’d like you to join the growing number of the Fund for Assistance members who participate in our monthly giving program.
Your involvement is especially critical right now, when families like Rachelle’s have been getting by with more and more difficulty ever since they lost everything they owned – some since the earthquake of 2010, some since Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Some of them – like Rachelle – are at the point of life and death.
Who will provide for Jean and Jules if Rachelle’s health gives out? Rachelle can’t read. She has nothing but her hands to rely on – except for God and your kindness. If you do nothing, they may have starved by next year.
Imagine the lifesaving difference your monthly gift will make to her! Picture to yourself how – thanks to your generosity – Rachelle can take a break from washing laundry to heal her raw and painful hands. How she can use those same hands to serve good, nutritious food to the boys she loves so deeply as to bleed for them every day.
Won’t you please join our HOFR monthly giving program? You can cancel at any time with no obligation.
By joining today, you will provide Rachelle with so much hope and gratitude to God, as well as a hearty meal for her family, and the knowledge that she is no longer alone. That although the world might not care about her, you still do. Because you love God and your neighbors – Rachelle, Jean, and Jules.
With much love in Christ,
P.P.S. If you can’t commit to a monthly gift, any sum will be beneficial. Remember, every day that goes by without your help, Rachelle and her kids are suffering!
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