Tyler's 50K To Housing In Haiti
Organized by: Tyler Kerr
EVENT DATE Apr 30, 2016
My name is Tyler Kerr and I began this adventure a little over a year ago. I started to take my running serious with my one and only goal being able to demonstrate to my four children that with focus, determination, and dedication anything is possible in life by running an ultra-marathon. However, sometimes the call to help others is too great to ignore in life. Starting in November of 2015 I began trying to seek out a charity that I wanted to work with through running that helps a large number of people, helps those in the most dire of need, and that I could be passionate about. Over the next two and a half months I continued to search everyday but nothing seemed to jump out at me. That is until a missionary priest, who works with Food For The Poor, came to my parish on January 17th, 2016 and spoke about the crisis that is still on going in Haiti. Like many people when he said he works to provide relief to those in Haiti I thought, “that is over with it happened like six years ago". Never the less I listened intently to his words and about half way through found that voice in the back of my head screaming at me saying, "This is the charity!” On April 30th, 2016 I will be taking on the challenge of running the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Kilometer race at Bear Mountain, New York. For those of you who are not used to kilometers that is 31.25 miles! I figured if I can accomplish my goal of running an ultra-marathon and raise money to put a roof over the head of some of the poorest families in the western hemisphere it is a win win. That is where YOU come in. I am asking you, yes you to help me in reaching my goal so together we can provide a safe warm home for at least one family in Haiti. Please look into your heart and help me to conquer this mountain and reach the finish line!
Below is a short explanation of the dire situation that the families in Haiti are suffering through that was sent to me from the missionary priest working in the communities.
One of the families that we at Food for the Poor have been working with is a young mother whose name is Rachel Pierre. Rachel is mother of three beautiful children. However.....and sadly.....her oldest daughter (14) was charged with the daily family task of securing potable water for her family's daily needs. It was a good 3 hour round trip daily hike to do so. On the way back one morning, the little girl - living, of course, with both protein deficiency and malnutrition - lost her footing, and consequently stumbled on the loose rocks of that dirt walking path as she journeyed back home. She fell, and with that fall, the bucket of water, of course, was lost. Out of sheer frustration, perhaps despondency and/or loss of hope, she, sadly, took her own life that very day. She was later found hanging from a tree when her mom went out in search of her..... Can you even begin to imagine? I cannot...
You might also remember me sharing during my visit to your Parish in Rochester, that many of these Haitian mothers will often create 'dirt cookies' or 'dirt cakes' for their children when there is nothing else available to feed their kids - and when their child's hunger pangs are so intense! Those 'dirt cookies' are nothing other than a handful of dirt from the ground. Moms mix a little cooking oil with the dirt, form them in such a way that they almost appear like a pancake, and bake them in the tropical sun. And when there is nothing else available, they - and NOT because they want to - feed them to their kids simply for the purpose of alleviating the intensity of their child's hunger pangs. It's unbelievable! I have tasted one - it's nothing but dry grit....certainly no nutritional value!
I have also seen moms set their makeshift family table with nothing other than 4 salted water bowls as soup for their evening meal! It's a far cry from what I once thought would be a tropical paradise of abundance! Was I wrong!!!!
Haiti has been in drought for the past 2 1/2 years now; but, there are still periodic downpours. However, prior to the onset of drought, I cannot tell you how many times families have shared with me that - on rainy nights - they stood huddled together all night holding plastic garbage bags over their heads in an attempt to stay dry! I have also seen a nasty snake curled up under a child's bamboo stick sleeping mat on the damp, dirt floor of his tent....