Haiti is only 200 miles south of the Florida border – essentially at the doorstep of New Trier Township High School. The connection is not only geographic, but personal too as several of New Trier’s staff members are from Haiti.
Prior to the earthquake, a group of New Trier faculty and staff were developing the Haiti Project, a service learning project to help rebuild St. Joseph, a school in their hometown, Petit-Goave, Haiti.
The mission of this Haiti Project is now expanding to help with the overall relief effort in Petit-Goave, which is located just 5 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. New Trier’s Haiti Project is partnering with a locally based non-profit, Little by Little, a 501 (c) 3 organization that provides aid and support to communities in Haiti.
Through personal finances and donations made by family and friends, two staff members at New Trier Township High School paid the $300 monthly salaries of St. Joseph’s committed teachers and the $250 tuition for children of the 160 families unable to afford this yearly expense.
Currently, The Haiti Project at New Trier Township is focusing on raising funds to repair and refurbish St. Joseph’s school in Petit Goave, Haiti – with outlined projects such as installing electricity, plumbing, an indoor bathroom, and a kitchen (which would provide a hot meal per day for the students). The partner organization Little-by-Little will help facilitate health care services for the students at St. Joseph’s school.
The fundraising by the staff and students at New Trier Township includes coin drives, bake sales, fundraising events like Hoops for Haiti, a Variety Show and personal donations.