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Caz teen to visit Haiti

Local teen to visit Haiti

By Willie Kiernan

republican@cnylink.com

Only a couple hundred miles from the US border, Haiti is ravaged by poverty, a struggling economy and dwindling resources. It is a country that relies on churches and non-profit organizations to help support and develop self-sustaining communities. Hannah Richard, a junior at Cazenovia High School, is going to see if she can help.

"After my mom returned from her trip to Haiti last January and told us of all of her experiences while there, I instantly became aware of how sheltered I was," Richard said.

St. James Catholic Church of Cazenovia formed the Haitian Twinning Committee in 2001 and twinned with St. Yves Catholic Church of Thibuea, Haiti through a national twinning organization. The committee has raised funds to send children to school each year, helped build a new church and added water purification systems to 600 families homes in the rural community of Thibeau, Haiti.

"Dr. Tom Green played off the saying If you give a man a fish..." and said that if we give them money and whatnot were helping but it doesn't really accomplish anything," Richard said. "If we give them an education and knowledge they can take that much further and go onto solving their own problems. I think that as more people become aware of this, the potential for helping countries such as Haiti increases."

On April 11, Richard will be traveling with four adults, including her mother Shannon Richard, to share composting ideas with the Haitian community. They will bring rosaries made by parish members of St. James and will also deliver new socks and underwear that are being collected for an orphanage located in Cap Haitian, Haiti.

"As a parent I want my children to understand how important it is to give, live and experience all we can in our life," said Shannon Richard. "The opportunities to give are all around us but St. James' twinning with St. Yves Church in Haiti has allowed us to share our faith and help a Haitian community in need. It is truly a blessing and I plan on taking all three of my daughters at some point in time."

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