A local effort this month has people in Barton County giving up little luxuries they can live without, and tucking away the money they would have spent so it can go to help people in Haiti still recovering from the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake that leveled most of the buildings on the island.
They’re doing this for two weeks, and at the end, they have pledged to send the money to Star of Hope. The non-profit will then use it to purchase, transport and distribute supplies and livestock to the people in the communities where they have a presence, Star of Hope CEO Mark Presson said.
Sara Williams is a project manager for Star of Hope, and has spearheaded campaigns at local churches, schools and community clubs. She’s making progress.
Members of Grace Community Church in Great Bend began their project at the beginning of October, and completed their two weeks of skipping recently. Their small sacrifices ranged from skipping lattes and trips through the drive-thru to giving up money they would normally spend at garage sales. Other groups throughout the community are at various stages in their projects, and some are planning to get started this week, Star of Hope representative Williams said.
Groups do not need to be affiliated with a church to take part, she added.
Skip-it to Give-it envelopes were passed out during advisory period at Great Bend High School last week. Students have been “skipping” all week, Williams said, and they aren’t being sent to detention. Instead, their small sacrifices will make it possible for kids their age in Haiti to continue their education, something that has been difficult in recent years.
“Haiti keeps getting hit with natural disasters,one after another, “ Williams said. First, there was the devastating earthquake in 2010, which the island as yet has not fully recovered from. How could then, with successive hurricanes? Then there was the drought two summers ago, which resulted in failed crops and the farmers ate their seeds to survive. Now, while they were not directly in the path of Hurricane Maria, which devastated nearby Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Haiti experienced high rains and winds that caused still more damage.
“It’s a dire situation,” Williams said.
Star of Hope CEO Mark Presson acknowledges with all the recent disasters occurring this summer, resources and donations have been spread thin. Star of Hope remains committed to its mission and vision to help Haiti.
That’s where the second half of Skip-it to Give-it comes in. While the money collected from sacrificial giving will help to purchase supplies and more for the people in the communities where Star of Hope has a presence, prayer is important too. In addition to giving, participants are asked to pray for the mission and the people it will help.
The Star of Hope website, https://campaign.starofhope.us/skipittogiveit, provides additional information.