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Hope for Haitians strives to build 50 more houses

Charitable organization holds 20th annual Evening in the Tropics benefit dinner to raise money.
Published: Aug. 28, 2021 at 10:39 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Hope for Haitians began rebuilding a village in Haiti called Pistere in 2018. The group has built 50 homes each year since then, even during the pandemic.

“We take homes and add security, and homes to people one family at a time,” said Hope for Haitians Board President Bill Derry.

More than 200 people emptied their pockets for a good cause Saturday night at the benefit dinner.

“It’s a great way to share the blessings we have with people that are not as blessed in Haiti,” said Derry.

The recent earth quake in Haiti occupies most people’s minds. Hope for Haitian Executive Director Chris Weickert said the group plans to redirect funds to support those areas, but nonprofit works to consistently help Haitian people.

“Not just reacting when there’s an emergency, but trying to better life in Haiti every year,” said Weickert.

The vast support from the community makes him feel optimistic about the success of the projects, he said.

“It’s humbling to know how generous people are, even when they’ve struggled with things,” said Weickert. “How willing they are to step up and help those who are in worst situations or less fortunate.”

Weickert hopes people feel more than just pity when they think of Haitian people.

“I think I want to encourage people to think about the Haitian people and their resiliency, their strength,” said Weickert.

In addition to the homes, Hope for Haitians builds community centers. The group returns to each village to make sure they have the resources to prosper. They also give the Haitian people leadership training to ensure the community is sustainable.

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