This Little Light of Mine

"To whom much is given, much is required"

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Update on the story “Pattie’s Gift”

I often wonder what happens to the people in the stories we write about in Haiti.  It’s one thing to reach out and touch the lives of those in need, even boldly giving them advice on how to do better in providing food for the family with the gifts we give.  But do we expect to see progress or dare hope that their future has been changed for the better after our encounter?  Of course we do.

We know that not all gifts produce the desired hope for the future that we wanted for them but when they do, we rejoice!

Here are the updates on the families that were featured in the story, “Pattie’s Gift”.


20130312 0206 gp HaitiThe Joly family update:

Yvette has changed so much from the last time we visited her.  When I took a picture of her in October she looked hard and depressed.  At that time she had very little to feed her family and life was very bleak. 

What a difference  a few months have made.    When Wissel walked to her house, she exclaimed “I knew that you would not come to Dos-Palais without coming to see me!”.  She looks happy, less stressed and much more hopeful.  She used her money to purchase a goat and also some items to sell from home or in the market such as spaghetti, coffee, bread, sugar and flour.  Sometimes she travels to the Dominican Republic to purchase items to sell. 

What a relief to see Yvette’s life change because of a gift from Pattie.


The Anger family update:20130312 0247 gp Haiti

Wissel stopped by the Anger family just to check on them to see how they were doing since October when we shared Pattie’s gift with them.  Of course they remembered Wissel.  The husband is blind but after Christianna explained who Wissel was, he was most pleased to finally meet again.

With the money, they paid off the debt in town they had incurred during the time when they had no food and was able to again purchase food for the children.  They purchased a hen and a rooster.  Wissel encouraged them to take good care of the chickens because they will give them eggs to eat and the extra chickens they can sell.  It would make more sense to purchase chickens from her for other families in the community when we return on the next trip. 

As goodbyes were said, they especially wanted to send greetings to the “Blancs” (whites) which was Joe and I!  But most of all to tell Pattie how grateful they are for her kindness.

If you have been surprised that a gift of $50 can make such a huge difference to a family in Haiti, we encourage you to seek out ways to give a hand up to those in need.  Helping families through “Children for a New Haiti” would be delighted to connect you with a family that desperately needs your help.   You may contact us at


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Reality in Haiti

Wissel Joseph in Haiti

Guest Post by Wissel Joseph, President of “Children for a New Haiti”

“Children and adults scavenge for recyclables and other usable items around a garbage truck at a dump on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.” That is a label of a picture below an article from NBC News titled “The poorest countries in the world.”

It was with sadness that I read the following statistics: “Poverty rate: 77% – Population: 10,123,787 – GDP: $7.35 billion (66th lowest) – GDP per capita: $726 (2nd lowest).  The World Bank notes that half of Haiti’s population lives on less than $1 a day. 80% lives on less than $2 a day. 40.6% are unemployed based on an estimate in 2010.”

Haiti is among the countries where health and healthy decisions are ignored. The average resident will not live to see 50. Less than half of the eligible children were enrolled in primary education (the equivalent of elementary and middle school).

We, at the “Children for a New Haiti” are trying to bring a  lifetime change especially in the remote area in Haiti. With a good staff, support from people like you and others, we are committed to making a difference where it matters.

This week, I was listening to an online radio station broadcasting from Haiti, two journalists comment how some children will stay inside their houses when school starts on October 1, for they do not want to see their friends next door going to school while they cannot. That broke my heart for I know that is the reality for I have seen it first hand. I have talked to parents of these little children and it is not easy to deal with their disappointment.

While I was growing up in Gonaives, I still remember how my mother would stay up late the night before the first day of school to sew my uniform. She could not get it ready earlier because she did not have the money to buy it. I have seen miracles happen where she would received a gift from people unexpectedly so that she could get us ready for the start of school.

Looking at it now, I feel blessed to be where I am, and I want to thank my mother, and those who helped her.  I am pleased to see my children growing up and especially for them to understand the concept of sharing and giving. I have seen them willingly give up their clothes and shoes for “the children in Haiti”.

Together we can make a difference, do not think too hard, get on board, call a friend or a family.  A little goes farther than you can imagine!