I’d like to thank everyone in Huron Woods who helped to support my trip to the Dominican Republic. We surpassed our target in both fund raising and donations. There were sixteen kids and four adult leaders on the trip. Our donations were so successful that each of us checked three extra 50 pound bags of school supplies for the flight! The extra funds we raised allowed us to buy higher grades of building materials than we originally planned.
Very run down and dirty does not adequately describe the school when we arrived. I can confidently describe the bathroom as no more than a hole in the ground. We transformed the classrooms with new coats of paint and replaced the old rusted, leaking roof. We built a concrete block building with two modern washrooms and an office for the teacher. I can hardly believe that we were able to tie off re-bars and carry buckets of concrete to make this transformation come true. We also added an area to play baseball at the back of the school and dug in tires, which resembles a caterpillar, for the younger children to play on. We even did some landscaping.
Each day we worked with three Haitian men we hired to help us, along with many parents of the community who volunteered to help. Kids were also constantly helping us by painting the tires or carrying empty cement buckets.
Not only did the school experience a transformation, but we held a free medical clinic in the community, gave new shoes to many kids, donated school supplies to many other schools, donated soccer supplies to a Haitian community, and toured through many poor areas in the north. The hardest thing by far was saying goodbye to the kids and families who appreciated our efforts so much.
I can’t thank you enough! This was so much more than the highlight of my summer. Not only did we transform the school, we transformed lives: for about 40 kids and their families as well as ourselves.