A Year-end Update
The end of the year is not necessarily a time of greater gratitude for the beauty of life, but rather a season in which my awareness of that gratitude is greater. The holiday season creates the space for me to slow down and dwell in that gratitude. In doing so this year, I realize many of the people and things I am most grateful for are tied to The 610 Project. You, as supporters of our mission, are counted well among those blessings. So, friends, allow me to share with you some of my favorite things that have happened throughout 2017!
This fall our Haitian partners at Haitian American Caucus added 8 new classrooms to their campus, allowing the addition of a lunchroom, 10th grade curriculum, and an overall enrollment of 550 students at Ecole Shalom. This is up by over 100 students from last year. Your support continues to make education accessible to children in Haiti as it has never been before. Thank you.
In October, we received the initial architectural renderings for our future school and guest house in Les Cayes. I can’t fully explain what my heart felt when I opened the email attachment and saw the plans in black and white on the screen. This is huge progress! It wouldn’t be possible without the work of Third Lens Ministries and Bailey-Harris Construction. Their hearts are so good and their skill sets are invaluable to bringing our dream of a new school in Les Cayes into reality.
3. Grants for Education
Granted (see what I did there?), this is very practical, but grants assist in much of the work we do. Thanks to Florence Rotary Club District grants, we’ve been able to accomplish some very cool educational initiatives. It was a Rotary grant, along with support from Balfour Yearbooks, which allowed us to bring HAC students their first yearbook experience last Spring, complete with professionally photographed (and printed) yearbook pictures for all students, and a student-led yearbook staff.
This year another Rotary grant is helping to bring music education to our students...We’re starting a concert band at Ecole Shalom! Local support for this program has already been overwhelming. Donations have come in from Muscle Shoals High School, the University of North Alabama Pride of Dixie Band, Miss UNA, Alabama Music, Counts Brothers Music, and various individuals who understand and have experienced the power of music education in a child’s life.
Because I am deeply passionate about Haiti, education, and The 610 Project’s work, I could write for days about all this! There is of course always more to share, more to be grateful for, but for now this glimpse in will have to do. I welcome any questions you guys may be left with though! Shoot them my way at firstname.lastname@example.org. As The 610 continues to grow, we will be developing more regular communications and updates with you guys. We invite you to stay tuned in to them.
I thank each of you for joining us in our journey to educate a generation and break the cycle of poverty. More than donors, you are supporters and friends, fellow dreamers and difference-makers.
Thank you. Mesi.