“Intense love does not measure, it just gives.”
Two weeks ago, June 12th, the annual Haiti Outreach Program Medical Benefit was held to raise funds for our efforts in Boucan Carre, Haiti. Hillbilly themed, the benefit took place at the old Goody’s warehouse on Parkside Drive. Red and white gingham table cloths, stray tires, mason jars, daisies and hydrangeas took over the space and made the huge warehouse feel fun and intimate.
The featured speakers included Dr. Louise Ivers (from Partners in Health), Dr. Pierre-Marie Medor (Medical Director of St. Michel Hospital in Haiti), and Mr. Billy Stair (a Sacred Heart parishioner and Haiti Outreach Program leader) and Mr. Hallerin Hill as master of ceremonies. Each one gave their personal touch to the same message: Haiti needs us and Boule needs the St. Michel Clinic.
Dr. Ivers gave an informative but moving speech about Boucan Carre’s poverty and how far the community has come with the Haiti Outreach Program’s involvement. Dr. Medor spoke about his first hand experience in St. Michel Hospital and playing witness to the progress Haiti Outreach has made over the past ten years. Mr. Stair gave a personal testimony about all of his trips to Haiti and the growth he has seen in Give Haiti Hope over the years. Stair
attempted to light a fire in the crowd by telling an eloquent story of a man carrying his sick child to St. Michel’s Hospital (an eight hour walk) only to have the child die in his arms on the journey. His message was clear that this clinic is vital to the people of Boule. Stair ended his speech with a call to action for all the young people in the audience. He hopes the next generation of Haiti Outreach will step up to the plate and carry on the mission that The Haiti Outreach Program set out to achieve.
At one junction between speakers, Hallerin Hill was filling time with his wonderful presence and said something that has stayed with me since. He was talking about a movie, Shine. He summarized the story line for us all and then pointed out a major theme of the movie. Unconditional love. Such a difficult theme to describe and yet Hill did it with easy, graceful words. He said it is like a pitcher you give to someone. But once you have given it, you break off the handle and can never take it back. Unconditional love is something that can never be forced or forged. It is so hard to give away and so easy to take for granted. Just as God has shown us His unconditional love, we must practice His love by helping the poor. All the speakers revealed their fearless, ambitious attitudes that are truly inspirational and I hope to one day have the confidence to mimic them.
The Haiti Outreach Program would like to thank everyone who attended for a great night of hillbilly fun and fund raising. If you were not able to attend but would still like to contribute visit our donation page here.