"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, and nothing is gentler than true strength" - St. Francis de Sales
Hands Together provides hope to the poor living in Haiti. Our work is founded upon the Catholic teaching that recognizes the dignity of every human life and a fundamental responsibility to the poor and vulnerable.
Our 2015 Annual Appeal letter to be mailed in August, 2015:
I just left Fr. Tom in Haiti and from my window seat on the American Airlines flight to Miami I am writing to you for or annual appeal and yearly update. Looking out I see the rooftops of 4 Hands Together schools in the Cite Solei and I’m amazed that we have created decent schools in one of the poorest and most hostile places in the world. It reminds me of the simple advice that St. Francis de Sales offers us all – that we be roses among thorns – with charity shining forth amid afflictions. And that is precisely what Hands Together does. There are no glorious “centers or programs” but rather our schools and programs are the a product of small acts, one by one on a daily basis, with the humility to know that any success here is far more God’s than anything we have done.
Hands Together exists to walk alongside and help the very poorest of the poor. And Fr. Tom and I have learned painfully that working with the poor is neither glamorous nor fun. In the last 12 months, two of our top staff people were murdered, we have been robbed and lied to countless times, and we know the frustration of experiencing more failures than successes. What is most clear to us is that working with the poor - when you boil it all down - is mostly WORK. It is not easy, but with faith and perseverance, God transforms our effort into something wonderful. This is reflected in the hope filled eyes of students who once played all day in piles of garbage piles and in proud faces of the parents and workers who can finally participate in programs that actually change communities and lives from the inside out.
It’s astonishing we helped more people and expanded more than in any previous year. Only 10 months ago, after the murders of two key Hands Together staff, we contemplated closing it all down. Our “little boat was almost capsized” and had lost many of her crew and was fragile and weak. We experience what St. Paul tells us in his letter to the Corinthians, "For when I am weak, then I am strong...for my power is made perfect in your weakness." From the hardship and trials of last year emerged a stronger, more balanced Hands Together. Here are just some of the many things we accomplished this past year with your help:
Notable accomplishments July 2014 - June 20-15......
click here for the rest of our annual appeal letter which we will mail out in late August...
Article by Toni Rossi
Springfield, MA Deacons Visit Haiti - June 2013
Article by Iris Alderson in the Springfield Republican
Columbus Dispatch Article - August 2011
Joe Hallett writes about post-earthquake challenges facing HT
Catholic Exchange - July 30, 2010
Article on Mary's Meals with Recent info on Hands Together
Catholic Standard and Times
Article on Fr. Tom Hagan
Here is a summary of our 2015 work in video