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Academy of the Holy Angels Increases Hope for Haiti Goal
2016 Dec 20

Maryanne Miloscia, Jamie Dykes, Samira Mady, Joan Connelly, and Kathy Sylvester from Academy of the Holy Angels participating in the Halos for Haiti fundraiser.

Maryanne Miloscia, Jamie Dykes, Samira Mady, Joan Connelly, and Kathy Sylvester from Academy of the Holy Angels participating in the Halos for Haiti fundraiser.

Change can be positive. Just ask the organizers of the Haiti Campaign at the Academy of the Holy Angels, where the call to aid a Haitian family impacted by Hurricane Matthew is being met with such enthusiasm that the fundraising goal has been extended to include support for three families!

As of early December, AHA Director of Campus Ministry Kathy Sylvester reported that the campaign had already netted $3,857 – and that total is increasing every day.

“I couldn’t be happier with the response. This is testimony to our 2016-17 theme, ‘In unity is our strength,’” Sylvester said, pointing to the widespread support from the school community, including multiple clubs.

“We want to try to support three families, so we will need about $1,600 more,” she added, noting that additional fundraisers will be held after Christmas.

Holy Angels is working with The School Sisters of Notre Dame, who sponsor AHA, and Beyond Borders to aid as many Haitian families as possible. The cost of assisting one family is approximately $1,800 for 18 months. Beyond Borders is helping families rebuild their houses and gain access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. Aid workers from this organization also help families obtain livestock and other necessities, including training they need to earn an income.

Brian John Stevens of Beyond Borders recently received AHA’s first check in the amount of $3,000.

“Thank you so much, Kathy! We are deeply grateful for this,” Stevens told Sylvester via e-mail. “I hope to get out to Lagonav Island…so I can see firsthand the work that you all are making possible.”

Landzie Lindor, an AHA student from New City, New York, recently told her classmates that, while Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, she finds it “the richest in love, family, and unity.”

“I am a proud Haitian and have experienced all of these attributes first at hand. Hurricane Matthew recently hit Haiti killing almost 900 people while leaving tens of thousands homeless,” Lindor said. “I feel blessed to go to a school that has heard the cries of my fellow Haitian brothers and sisters. By donating money toward Hope for Haiti you are granting someone a home that has been taken away from them after the devastation caused by the hurricane.”

She pointed out that the Haitian flag features the motto, “L’union Fait la Force,” which means unity is strength.

“By uniting together you have showed true strength and because of this I am confident that with your help we can unite and ensure that not one but three families receive shelter due to our aid,” she said.

Naika Homicile, an Angel from Chestnut Ridge, New York, also has roots in Haiti. She noted that Haiti is the “first independent black nation in the Western Hemisphere, the first post-colonial black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as a part of a successful slave rebellion.”

She added that she loves the resilience, strength, and pride of the Haitian people.

“I have seen many Haitians who suffer from poverty make something of themselves for their children and their futures; Haitians who work hard to survive and raise children without regular access to things we so often take for granted, such as electricity or clean water,” Homicile said. “Through it all, the Haitian people endure, rebuild, and find a way to carry on with life and be resourceful in everything that they do. I love my country and am grateful to be part of the Holy Angels community that has made a way to offer their assistance.”

The AHA community began hosting fundraisers for Haiti in October. Plans call for the effort to continue into February 2017.

  • Halos for Haiti, a photo fundraiser, was held during lunch periods. For a $2 donation, students and staff had an opportunity to use donated halos and wings as props in their photos.

  • Handprints for Haiti, which was sponsored by the Model UN, gave participants an opportunity to dip their hands in paint and add their handprints on a canvas that will be sent to the SSNDs in Wilton, Connecticut.

  • This year’s Thanksgiving Drive/Jeans Pass allowed students to wear jeans to school for the day. Funds from this effort went to Beyond Borders.

  • Hoops for Haiti, run by the History Honor Society, provided students with the opportunity to make a donation to play games with hula hoops and/or basketball hoops.

  • Several other groups lent a hand, including the French Club, the Italian Club, the Spanish Club, the International Students Club, and the Art Club. These enterprising students raised funds by hosting a basket raffle, a candy sale, a Christmas ornament sale, and a bake sale.

Upcoming Events:

  • Proceeds from the Faculty Bake Sale, set for January 24- 25, 2017, will also be donated to Beyond Borders.

  • The effort will culminate with a Flapjack Fundraiser at the Applebee’s located on Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus. This event will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. on February 5, 2017. Diners, who will include visiting SSNDs, will be waited on by student servers.
AHA will also accept checks made payable to AHA with “Haiti” entered on the memo line. The school will forward the funds to Beyond Borders.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

- Jennifer Crusco, the Communications Assistant, The Academy of the Holy Angels

Learn more about Academy of the Holy Angels’ Hope for Haiti Initiative.