"Please pray for them, pray for my people in Haiti." Rev. Lemaire Alerte, pastor of the Haitian Evangelical Church in Jersey City, N.J. pleaded to me over the phone. His voice was calm, stern and deeply melancholy. "Please pray."
I believe in the power of prayer and positive thinking -- and I also believe we can do more to help Haiti. Like Rev. Alerte, I know that, as a global community, we can put more of our time, energy and resources into helping others who desperately need our help.
Rev. Alerte is from Grande-Saline in central Haiti. He has made many missionary trips back to his homeland to help his impoverished community. With a sense of urgency, he tells me that it was already "a bad situation -- extreme poverty, hunger, orphans." All elements in the pandemonium haunted Haiti before the recent tragedy. While visiting his hometown, Rev. Alerte says the constant pleas for education touched him deeply: "Please help us bring education and schools here, our kids need it," He heard over and over again.
For the past three years, Rev. Alerte has been on a mission to build a Jr. High School in Grande-Saline. The total cost: $75,000. Through donations and fundraisers, Rev. Alerte has raised about $10,000 and has spent about $18,000 of his own money for the project. With the $28,000 raised so far, construction began. However, the project can not be completed without your help.
Grand-Saline was not physically devastated by the recent 7.0 Earthquake, but the ripple effects will be felt for a long time. Rev. Alerte tells me many families are flooding his hometown to flee the devastation. Therefore, the need for a junior high school is even more urgent as many children, orphans -- Haiti's future -- are migrating to Rev. Alerte's hometown for refuge, schooling and hope.
GoInspireGo.com"s youngest volunteer, New Jersey high school student Julian Cohen and his friend Jamie Cahn were moved by Rev. Alerte's story and captured it on video for you to see:
Rev. Alerte is also working with the Red Cross in New Jersey to collect, money, food, clothes and other resources for his community in Grande-Saline. He plans to visit to his hometown at the end of February to oversee construction and connect with his community.
Rev. Alerte listened. But he needs your help.
If you'd like to make a donation to Rev. Alerte's mission, please visit www.hefoundation.weebly.com.
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