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Out & About in Cleveland

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Fundraiser for the Haiti Committee

Our second event for Friday was a fundraiser for the Haiti Committee of the Blessed Trinity Parish in Cleveland which was held at the Knights of Columbus at 130th and Lorain. We first spoke with Mr. Vic and Ms. Janice Scigliano who are both very active on the committee. We were told that the parish works with the Little Sisters of St. Therese in Baraderes, Haiti and sometimes sends a mission team there. In fact a team, which will include Mr. Scigliano, is getting ready to go this April. All of the proceeds from this event would go towards worthy projects that would aid the community. In 2012, they focused on the needs of the vocational school in Baraderes supplied it with treadle sewing machines and other equipment needed for sewing as well as fabrics and notions. In 2013, enough money was raised to send $15,000 to have two water wells drilled. In 2014, the amount of $10,000 was sent to purchase a generator to heat the vocational school. In 2015, the focus will be on medical supplies for the local clinic and to provide further assistance to the vocational school as well as paying for a mission team to travel there.

Mr. Scigliano told us that what really makes a mission trip worthwhile is that the people of Baraderes are always very happy to see them because they can tell that the Clevelanders really care about them. According to what we learned, Baraderes is in a very out of the way location about five and a half hours from Port-Au-Prince even though, technically, it is no farther in actual distance than Columbus is from Cleveland. Some even call Baraderes "the end of the world" but even though the area is impoverished its people are very upbeat.

We were given a paper that contained the Haiti Committee Mission Statement which read, "the Haiti Committee of the Blessed Trinity Parish was formed as an expression of our parish mission of building a just society and service to all of God's people. In this spirit the members and friends of Blessed Trinity Parish desire to support the people of Haiti, by prayer, monetary donations, supplies and mission trips, so as to help them in their own efforts to improve their spiritual life, education, health and quality of everyday life."

Fortunately, from what we could see, the fundraiser looked to be very successful with over 250 people present who enjoyed food, sideboards, and a Chinese raffle. We visited for a few minutes with several nuns who were part of the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Third Order of St. Francis. Sister Donna Wilhelm told us that she thought that Ms. Margaret W. Wong was a very generous person who has helped a lot of people. Sister Fran Woznicki has been involved with Haitian relief since the earthquake in Haiti. She told us about the vocational school which will train one hundred adult students, at a time, in either the culinary arts, small business management, or tailoring. As for Sister Sandy, she won $100 in one of the raffles and was genuinely thrilled because she had never won anything before. She laughed as we advised her to throw a party for her friends.

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