Fall 2011

We like the quote from Edward Everett Hale, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

Fall 2011

Dear Friends of the Children in Borgne,

Hasn’t it been a glorious summer? Where we live near Rochester, NY, the sun has been shining on us almost every day! Borgne, Haiti, is a very sunny place, too, thanks to all of you. This is the time of year when we think of the children who will be going back to school both here and there. I can still remember as a child feeling sad about summer ending, but I was also very excited about a new year. For us now, it is an opportunity to give from our bounty to help those who have so little. We who have had the opportunity to get an education know what a blessing it is and welcome a chance to pay it forward to help children who would never be able to go to school without our help. We don’t get into fundraising and grant writing (usually). We simply ask the people we know to help and you have — so generously. On behalf of the children in Borgne, we thank you with all our hearts.

Here’s what’s going on, thanks to your donations to Friends of Borgne, Inc.

Scholarship students – 56 of them – are beginning their 4th year of school. We have a deep commitment to these children to see them through until they finish. The children in the village need $125 per year because they books, shoes, uniforms, and backpacks. The children in the rural area need only $25 per year because they don’t wear uniforms. All 50 children were selected by their neighborhoods – children whose families receive no outside money from relatives living elsewhere.

The Food Program – Each day the children on scholarship in the village get a meal.  Rice and beans are the staples.  Hungry children have a hard time learning. This program costs $800 per month. We buy all the food locally which helps the vendors and we pay a small salary to the dedicated cooks who are up before first light to make the fire and start the water boiling.

The Wesleyan School – This school closed because there was no money to pay the teachers. There is no public education in Haiti. So, we were able to reopen the school by hiring three teachers @ $500 per year. We add a grade a year. This year it’s 5th grade.  The families of the children who attend this school only have to pay $6 per year for their children to attend.

The Traveling Library – We have a horse, a guide, a librarian and beautiful books written in Kreyol. The librarian goes from school to school, neighborhood to neighborhood, sharing literacy with children and adults.  This costs $100 per month.

The Sewing Center – Thanks to a grant from the Naples Council on World Affairs we will be opening a Sewing Center this fall in a room at the top of the Foundation Building which we rent. It is equipped with 10 treadle sewing machines (no electricity) and two teachers. Young adults who want to learn a marketable skill will get training here. We learned about this from Debbie Doyle who helped us every step of the way.

Cholera Education Program – We were able to buy megaphones and send teachers into the countryside to warn the people about the danger of contracting  cholera, how to prevent it, and what to do if they got it. We were able to act quickly and effectively.

Here are some of the other things that people have done this past year.

  • Two churches in the Rochester area selected us to be part of  their tithing programs and made very generous donations.
  • At the Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Bryn Mawr, PA, each grade is adopting a child to send to school.  They are in it for the long haul, too.  When the senior class graduates, the incoming freshmen will take over.  Because of them we were able to add 4 more children to the scholarship program.
  • Emily, a college student in Rochester, went to Haiti and met a child that she felt called to sponsor.  She finds a way to come up not only with his tuition of $125 for the year, but also for his food which is almost $300 per year.
  • When our teacher friend Ann turned 70 years old, her friends had a luncheon and donated to Friends of Borgne in her honor.
  • When Marie turned 100 years old, her daughters asked family members and friends to donate to Friends of Borgne to celebrate this occasion.
  • Several friends of Judy, a member of our board, donate money when they pray to St. Anthony for help finding something.  When they find whatever they have lost — which they always do — a donation is made to Friends of Borgne…I love that one!
  • Sarah and Kevin held a chicken dinner and raised over $2000 for us.
  • Diana and her friends raised over $1000 for a special donation for a soccer program in Borgne.
  • We have a couple of families who decided to forego Christmas gifts since everyone had everything they need, and instead they donated what they would have spent to the children who have literally no things.
  • Our school children sold bracelets and donated the proceeds to the children in Haiti.
  • A lady who works at the Village Hall in Honeoye Falls made beautiful dresses for the  little girls and women in Borgne.
  • Our local soccer association sent lots of shirts and cleats.  A local church donated beautiful religious goods which they weren’t using any more.
  • Two people do an automatic bill pay online and give the same amount each month.

All of you  donated to Friends of Borgne to make it happen.  It’s difficult to get things to Borgne.  We can’t send them because of the decimated infrastructure. The Assistant Mayor who visited us this summer was able to take these things back, but the best way for us to help is to wire funds which they use there to get the programs up and running.

A very exciting event occurred this summer!  Honeoye Falls and Borgne became Sister Cities.  The Assistant Mayor of Borgne was here for the formal ceremony which took place in Harry Allen Park during the intermission of the Village Days band concert.  The national anthems of both countries were sung and both mayors spoke.  Ben, a video expert high school student, recorded the event.  Check it out at http://vimeo.com/27391507. We have a wonderful committee which is helping with this connection.

You can also check our website at www.friendsofborgne.org which is there because of another volunteer! Good things are happening! So, if we get discouraged from time to time with things going on in our country and the world, we can remember that there are ways to make it better!

So we are asking that you be one who continues do something to help with this effort. A recent study showed what we intuitively know — that consuming material things doesn’t lead to long term happiness, giving to others does!  The Assistant Mayor and his Foundation in Borgne get no salaries nor does anyone here.  We are all volunteers and guarantee that every cent donated goes to the programs.  We pay for postage, brochures, and our own travel. Speaking of travel, I am planning to visit Borgne in November. I’ll give you an update after that.

Our niece Amy has this quote on Facebook….

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Ghandi

There are many ways to serve.  This is one!  Check out the photos of the “library” and children!

School starts soon!  Please help!  What a great gift an education is!   Tax deductible donations can be sent to

Friends of Borgne, Inc.
PO Box 486
Honeoye Falls, NY 14472