Monday, February 29, 2016

Extra Help in Haiti

As many of you may know, Vantage Career Center sponsors the Bordes school in Haiti. Each year we have a Haiti Carnival where we raise money for the school down in Cap-Haiten Haiti. This all started when Peg Bollenbacher, former Social Studies teacher, invited the superintendent of the Bordes school into her class to talk to her students about the Haitian culture. After this talk by the superintendent, Marius Turienne, the students voted to "adopt" the Bordes school. One of the first things we did as a school was to work hand-in-hand with them to provide vocational services to its students. Vantage would organize this endeavor through a student formed Haiti committee. This original committee began with two advisors and twelve students. During the second year of its existence, the Haiti committee partnered with the Van Wert Rotary club and associated itself as a Rotary Interact club. Today the Vantage Interact club has 125 members and is the largest high school Interact club in the state of Ohio.

This brings me to the point of this blog. As I mentioned earlier, Marius Turienne was the person from Haiti who came to speak to our students. Needless to say, Marius and Peg have remained great friends for over 15 years. Marius has visited us here at Vantage with his wife Venetia. Marius has six children, five girls and one son. When Peg talks about Marius, you can't help feel the love she has for Marius, his family and the entire Cap-Haiten community. Since Peg retired a few years ago, Matt Miller our Science teacher has taken over the Haiti Interact club. He will also tell you what a kind, compassionate and caring gentleman that Marius is. Marius is also a pastor of three different churches in the area of Cap-Haiten. He also runs several schools in the area and at one point he even had a school in his basement.  Marius is the kind of guy that will do anything for anybody. He puts other people first and makes sure they are taken care of before he is. Cap-Haiten is a very needy and run down area. There is no sanitation department there and so the streets look like some of the worst areas we have here in the United States. Food is very scarce and disease is very rampant. If you can imagine anarchy and filthy conditions, then you can picture Cap-Haiten. Yet among all this living, you will always find Marius smiling and helping others. He absolutely loves his town and the people in it.

Talking with Peg and Matt recently, I found out that Marius is suffering from a failing kidney. Marius has diabetes as do most residents of Cap-Haiten. However, Marius' has gotten so bad that it is effecting many parts of his body. He needs dialysis but the hospital released him because of lack of money. Peg has worked with the Community United Methodist church in Shawnee Ohio to get Marius some help that he needs and needs fast. They will be transporting him to a hospital in Port-Au-Prince for dialysis. It is at this time that I ask for your help. I believe in early March we will be having a jean's day fund raiser for Marius. I only hope that you will give what you can on that day. Try to remember all the help that Marius has given to so many over the years and what this help could possibly mean to him. Realize all the luxuries we have with school lunches, smart phones, clean water, internet and many others and then think what you might sacrifice for a day or week to help a dear friend of Vantage's. Marius is a good man, let's show him our love by providing a little extra help in Haiti next week. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

P.S. If you are reading this and you are not a student but would like to help, please contact Mr. Matt Miller, chairman of the Haiti Interact club at Vantage Career Center. Thanks

1 comment:

  1. Peg BollenbacherMarch 1, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    Thanks Jim! Sitting here reading your blog, I have tears. Whatever you ask of Marius, his patent answer is always, "no problem". That is the way it is! Family is EVERYTHING to Haitiens. Marius and Kenan are part of my family. They are my Brothers. Thank you, very much, for posting this in your blog.