The Cardinal Stepinac Children's Center in Bon Repos, Haiti is home to 46 Haitian children who were orphaned or abandoned following the devastating 2010 earthquake. It was founded by Father Giordano Belanich of Croatian Relief Services, a nonprofit organization originally created in 1992 to respond to the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Kat and Alenna, Croatians born and raised in San Francisco and New Orleans respectively, will be traveling to Haiti on April 25 to volunteer at the Children's Center for two weeks. They'll be providing extra hands to Sandra, Marija, and Elizabeta -- the Croatian "moms" who have been taking care of the children (1 to 14 years) full-time.
Help Us Reach Our Goal
Our goal is to raise at least $7000, which would cover one month of the Center's expenses. Of course we would love to raise more, especially to help the Center buy a vehicle. Currently the students attend a private Catholic school that is off-site, requiring them to be shuttled by taxi to and from school each day. Ideally the Center will have a van and be able to drive the children themselves.
NYC Happy Hour
To help raise extra funds, we will be hosting a Haitian/Croatian Happy Hour and Send-Off in Manhattan the night before we depart for Haiti. Come to Tonic Bar Times Square located at 727 7th Ave (btw 48th and 49th) on April 24 from 6 - 10 PM.
For just a $5 cover charge, you will be treated to: fantastic drink specials; delicious appetizers; Haitian music compiled by S. Milord of Port-au-Prince followed by music spun by DJ Viki; and a couple of terrific surprises!
All donations made through this Crowdrise website are tax-deductible and go directly to the Cardinal Stepinac Children's Center via Croatian Relief Services; tax-deduction receipts and letters will be provided.
If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions, please contact Croatian Relief Services at email@example.com.
Everyone is welcome to come to Bon Repos and volunteer. As you can see in the photos, even Miss America 2011 Teresa Scanlan recently paid a visit!
Kat and Alenna are in the process of gathering together a specific wishlist of items to bring with them for the Center in Haiti. If you live in the New York City area and want to drop off a wishlist item, please contact us as soon as possible. Donations will have to be dropped off by Sunday, April 22 the latest.
About Alenna and Kat
After meeting in Washington DC in 2001, when Kat was working at the Croatian Embassy and Alenna for the NFCA, a Croatian lobbying group, these two seemingly opposite personalities quickly became the best of friends. We remain very close even though our paths have diverged and taken us to different corners of the world.
Kat is now in New York City after many years in Croatia, and Alenna lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Nicholas and three children -- Luka, Sofia, and Annalis.
Happily, however, our paths are converging again as we come together to lend a hand to the Cardinal Stepinac Children's Center. We can't wait to meet the sweet children of Bon Repos and their Croatian "moms". We look forward to sharing our experiences with all of you through photos, videos, and many stories upon our return in mid-May.
Keep an eye out for our blog to come!
Thank you ... Hvala ... and Mesi for your support!