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Sending Help and Hope to Haiti from Maine

by Berwick Academy staff

The earthquake that devastated Haiti has inspired millions of people across the world to send help and hope to the people of Haiti. Included in those millions are the students who attend Berwick Academy.

There was no question about whether our students would help, the only question was how they would help. Both the Lower and Upper Schools already have a relationship with Life and Hope Haiti, an organization dedicated to aiding students at the Eben Ezer School in Milot, a town in northern Haiti. Students in the Upper School chose Life and Hope Haiti as the focus of their fundraising project last spring and in one week they raised enough money to sponsor six children at the school. This spring, the Upper School Outreach Group will hold a film festival. Money raised through ticket sales will also go to Life and Hope Haiti. Students in the Lower School raised money for Life and Hope Haiti through the book fair this past fall. This month, Amy Miller, a local resident who is deeply involved with the organization, visited BA to present information about the Eben Ezer School to our Lower School students.

In the wake of the disaster, the Lower School worked together to raise money in several ways. In third grade, students sold a Lower School sing-a-long CD, raising close to $600, which will be used to sponsor two children at the Eben Ezer School. During Blue and White week at BA, students wore blue and red for a “Change for Haiti” dress down day. Over $700 was raised for the American Red Cross during this fundraiser.  In addition, the third grade held an assembly for the entire Lower School to recite a poem they had written called, “What a Child Needs.”  During the assembly, the first grade class sold cupcakes they had decorated, raising nearly $300 for the cause. This spring, the second grade class will hold their annual lemonade stand. Proceeds will be donated to an organization in Haiti of their choice. The entire Lower School will also be selling note cards in boxed packs of five (5) for $7.00 each. The note cards portray an image of the LS students taken in the wooden gym.

The Middle School organized one division-wide fundraiser for Haiti relief efforts. No dress down day was needed, and students rallied to the cause by donating nearly $1,300 in just a few short days. Fifth grader, Samantha Saliba, had a big hand in the Middle School fundraiser, working with  Ms. Wagner to come up with a way to recognize those students who contributed to the cause.  Every student who gave  money was given a gold badge with an “H” to represent their contribution to the people of Haiti. The cost of one lunch in Haiti is roughly .17 cents, meaning that the money raised by the Middle School was enough to provide over 7,000 lunches to people in need. Samantha commented, “It was amazing that the Middle School was able to raise over $1,000 for this cause, and almost every student contributed!”

In the Upper School, several fundraisers were put into action during the first week of the tragedy.  Students were asked to wear the colors of the Haitian flag: red, white, or blue, depending on where they sit in morning assembly. The colors and seating arrangements formed the design of the Haitian flag, and students donated money for the privilege of dressing more casually that day. Over $1,800 was raised for Partners in Health and Partners in Development, two organizations that have been dedicated to causes in Haiti for over 20 years.  During Blue and White week, the classes held a coin drive competition. Coming in first, with a total of $338, was the freshman class, and in total, the classes raised $1,160. The money raised through the coin competition will go to a destroyed shelter in Leogane, five miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. Sister Claudette Anglade, sister of Life and Hope Haiti founder, Lucia, ran the shelter which housed homeless, elderly, and disabled people of Haiti. The shelter was completely destroyed and ten residents and two nuns were killed in the quake.  The residents are now staying in a makeshift tent and medical clinic.

The entire student body of Berwick Academy rallied together to support the people of Haiti during this devastating time. The determination to aid people in need is not new to our students here at BA, however.  Students in every grade level work to help people in the local community and beyond on a daily basis.  In total, nearly $7,000 has been raised for Haiti relief and Life and Hope Haiti by students at Berwick Academy.


                    Special thanks goes out to Amy Miller of Life and Hope Haiti. 


    Amy provided the information on the efforts of Berwick Academy to help Haiti

    that appears on this webpage.

Berwick Academy works for Life and Hope Haiti

Berwick Academy Film to Help Haiti

SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Members of the Berwick Academy Outreach Program have produced a documentary film about the Eben Ezer School, a small, independent school in northern Haiti whose local ties had inspired the project long before the Jan. 12 earthquake devastated the island nation.

The video clip will be shown at a one-day independent film festival on Saturday, April 10, at Berwick Academy's Auditorium. It will run before each of three full length films, telling the story of Life and Hope Haiti and how the South Berwick community got involved in this effort.

"One of my hopes for this project is to create a lasting, sustainable bond between our community and theirs," said senior Chelsea Johnson. "There is something to be said not only for generosity, but reliability. If we are able to continue our support of the Eben Ezer school and Life and Hope Haiti, (that) will be the ultimate success."