Easter 2011 - Progress & Hope

Fr. Tom and everyone at Hands Together pray that you are filled with God's spirit this Easter and realize that Jesus is present in our world and in us through the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

An example of this Easter hope and promise is the Wharf Jeremie slum, where, only a year ago, there was a small clinic and a dynamic, tireless nun -- Sr. Marcella -- working to bring God's love to a forgotten place. We first visited there on Good Friday of last year, when Fr. Tom walked the stations of the cross and carried a large wood cross through parts of Cite Soleil - stopping at sites where people had died or endured great suffering. But Wharf Jeremie today looks much different. There are hundreds of new homes, a wonderful new school, an expanded clinic caring for dozens of cholera patients, and a church under construction.

The challenge for us is to encounter our Lord in the people around us and not be discouraged or confused by the overwhelming needs of the people. Sometimes we make the mistake of focusing first on "building" or "buying supplies" or "installing pumps" , instead of focusing on finding God in the people and discerning what God wants from us.

We learned from our Earthquake recovery projects that we must allow the Haitian people to carry-out the work and move toward greater independence. Our goals for the upcoming fiscal year will reflect this philosophy. Already we've provided seed money to a few small-scale, Haitian-run businessess and we've started a volunteer community that will live at our headquarters and serve as advisors and mentors at our schools, agricultural projects, medical clinic, and water well drilling efforts.

The Symphony of Hope Concert

Hands Together's good friend, Chris Lennertz, a Grammy award winning composer living in California, decided to use his talents in film and music to help the Haitian people and Hands Together and he created the "Symphony of Hope" - a musical fundraising project which was originally designed to help the people of Haiti in their desperate time of need. A year after the terrible earthquake which has destroyed the lives of thousands of Haitians, the need for assistance is even greater than ever. "Symphony of Hope" is a collaboration by 25 of today's leading Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning composers to benefit Haiti Earthquake Relief. The "Symphony of Hope" begins with an original Haitian melody, then each composer contributes an additional 8-32 bars of music to the piece and then passes it along to the next composer. This is symbolic in the way that one lending hand passes on to another lending hand and so on and eventually a beautiful outcome is derived. scoring the symphony at Warner Bros

On March 26, 2011, at Warner Brothers Studios, dozens of the world's most famous composers, musicians, vocalists and film makers came together to record this incredible symphony. Inspired by photos and videos from earthquake displayed on huge screens, the artists create a four movement symphony. Now the project is in post production mixing and DVD creation.

Go here to see the full production and the website: SYMPHONY OF HOPE WEBSITE