"Because, Doug, they have nobody else - these are the ones our Lord was talking about...we have no choice." Fr. Tom Hagan responding to Doug Campbell's question after many killings and theft, about why don't we help somewhere else.
Hands Together has been working alongside the very poor for 25 years, providing hope and strength to the most destitute and violent areas of 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.
All of our outreach programs are Haitian-run, with much financial and material support coming from very special people, parishes and groups.
Delayed 2015 Annual Appeal booklet:
I know folks have wondered where there annual Hands Together mailing is - and we are sorry that it did not go out in May, like usual. But it's been a very challenging time over the past 4 months. We moved our U.S. office, have an entirely new U.S. staff, and many of these changes just demanded all our effort. We will be mailing out a 2015 yearly summary booklet in the next month. Thanks for all the help from everyone despite not being solicited this year.
The note here below is the basic appeal part of the booklet - from Fr. Tom and Doug Campbell:
"I just left Fr. Tom in Haiti and from my window seat on the American Airlines flight to Miami I write our annual appealupdate. Looking out I see the rooftops of 4 Hands Together schools in the Cite Solei and I’m amazed that we grew from a 3 room building to operating 8 decent schools in one of the poorest and most hostile places in the world. I'm reminded of words from St. Francis de Sales – "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 short video thanking the Jones Day Foundation for funding the amazing artificial turf soccer field that we just opened - with scenes from the inauguration:
Here is a video summary of our 2015 work: