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Our Blog

Welcome to our blog. Here you will find updates on our current projects and events, letters from our board, staff and volunteers, as well as updates on the children. Thanks for visiting and please check back soon.

Posted under Students Help Out


Students from Thacher school in Ojai and Saint Ann’s Bellfield in Virginia accompanied us to Haiti in March. We first traveled to the town of Vignier, and built trusses for a home that Changing Tides has been constructing for a needy family. We then traveled to the orphanage and spent the rest of the week with the children. It was also my 12 year old son Wyatt’s first trip to Haiti, It was nice to have this group of students back again as they came last March and Built a playground for the children.

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Posted under March Trip to Haiti


Donna and I went back to Haiti the first week of March. We were accompanied by a group of students  and parents from Thacher School in Ojai, and Chris and Mattie Mazzola (Donna’s daughter and grand-daughter) from St. Ann’s Betelfield School in Virginia. Mattie designed t-shirts which were sold at both schools. The money they raised from t-shirt sales went towards our playground project. While in Haiti the students worked hard on the playground; we poured the cement slab and installed the fencing. They also packaged some food which they handed out in Kay Jacmel, a very poor area about 10 miles from the orphanage. I want to thank everyone for all there hard work. The children are now using the play area and enjoying it very much. I am also posting two video’s from the trip one shot by Suzanne Combs and Elle Gannon.

Vance

 

 

 

 

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Posted under Cade’s Trip January 2012


I returned from Haiti on January 7th. I was accompaniedby Dona Kirkmire and Cade Carper. Donna continued working with with the kindergarden class the children really enjoy the projects she puts together for them. Unfortunatly our kindergarden teacher Sonia has been ill and has traveled to Cuba for medical treatment her brother is filling in and doing great job. We are praying for her recovery and return. Cade and I started work on the playground; we built some retaining walls to level the property for the basketball court. I want to really thank Cade we really worked hard and accomplished a lot of work. I will load some pictures from the trip.
-Vance

 

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Posted under 2012 Vision


We are now planning a playground for the orphanage and the next couple of trips will include the development and construction of this project. We are also planning some service trips, where we will possibly build homes for some single mothers and some elderly and disabled neighbors who are currently living in tents and shacks. We hope to include our friends and local Haitian youth on these work projects.

When the time is right I would like to purchase a piece of land and build a new school, separated from the orphanage. This would free up space at the orphanage for us to take in more children. Our goal is to add at least one classroom each year.

In the new year we are also going to start making contacts in order to find educational sponsorships in the United States for our children. Our goal is to find sponsor families and schools by the time the children reach junior high age so they can study here and return to Haiti with an education and the ability to make a difference in their own country. We also hope to share Haiti with many more people and to be the conduit that provides access to those wishing to give back.

Vance Simms

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Posted under 2011 Reflections


In looking back at our first year, I never could have imagined we would be where we are today. We have accomplished so much in just one year. We’ve turned something that was just an idea into a community based organization that is now serving others in great need. Traveling all through Haiti to find and furnish a facility in a suitable location, hiring amazing staff and welcoming these wonderful children into our family….I thank God for the inspiration and guidance needed to get this accomplished.

We now provide a home for fifteen orphaned and underprivileged children. We have also started a school for our children and for children in the local community who would not have otherwise had the opportunity to attend school. The Haitian government only accepts ten percent of the children at public schools. Thirty four percent never attend school and forty percent drop out by the third grade.

A feeding program has been implemented for our children, the children attending the school, and some elderly and handicapped neighbors. Most children in Haiti eat only one starchy meal a day, consisting of plantains, white rice and white bread, because this is all the people can afford.  Before they go home from school we feed our kids nutritious, balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables and proteins. We are also providing jobs for the community where the unemployment rate is seventy percent and the people that do have jobs make an average of two dollars per day.

The children, some brought to us at death’s door, are now thriving. With a staff that encourages them, teachers that care about their education, nutritious food and a loving environment, they will have a chance at a future. I thank God, our Board, all our sponsors, my family and the community for getting involved and making it all possible.

Thanks for your support,
Vance Simms

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Posted under December Trip to Haiti


I returned from Haiti on December 6th along with Taffy and Julia Lowen and Nick Colbern. We had a great trip. While we were there we welcomed two new children into the Orphanage, Johnny 2 1/2 and Mona 7. Nick played soccer with all the neighborhood kids, while Julia and Taffy worked with the kids in the classroom making our orphanage Christmas card, making bracelets, and other fun crafts! I will be returning to Haiti on January 8th with Donna Kirkmire and Cade Carper. Donna will be working with the teachers in the classrooms, and Cade and I will begin preliminary work on a playground for the kids that is located on a piece of land we were able to lease next to the orphanage. Check out the picture from the December trip on our page! Thanks again for all your support!

Vance

 

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