"Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Mother Theresa
I am excited to be preparing for my first service trip to Haiti this June where the country is still suffering after a devastating earthquake in 2010 and subsequent hurricanes. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
I will be part of a team of 12 from St. Patrick's Parish with a goal of building a small house for a local family who is living in a tent/temporary shelter. These are simple structures (no electricity or plumbing) but sturdy, hurricane-proof, and will keep the family safe. And they will be able to sleep on a mattress for the first time!! We will work along side a local construction group providing needed labor. The whole project will take 5 days to complete.
Our trip is being organized through the Be Like Brit Foundation which operates an orphanage in Grand Goave housing 66 children. We will stay on site and have an opportunity to spend time with the children.
Your donation will assist in buying all the building materials, pay for the local construction workers assisting we amateurs, provide funds to the orphanage where we will stay and help get our group there and back safely.
I invite you to become part of this mission. My goal is ambitious but prayerfully consider donating. I also ask for your prayers as I travel to Haiti in June.
Thanks, blessings, and love to you all!
If you wish to donate, please click on the green "DONATE" button on the right.
Please read the inspiring story of the Be Like Brit Foundation where a local Massachusetts family turned the tragic loss of their daughter Britney into an amazing legacy of love and giving.
Donations support one of the following:
Britsionarys in need of financial support:
Britsionarys who cannot afford the cost of the trip alone, can use our pages to ask family and friends for financial support. Donations help to cover the cost of the Britsionary's trip (lodging/food/transportation/insurance/etc.) until they have reached their total amount due for their trip. Once they have reached this amount, any additional donations will go directly to a Be Like Brit general fund to support the children at Brit's Home.
Fundraising for the children at BLB:
Britsionarys who are paying for the entire trip themselves, can choose to fundraise for the children at Brit's Home and support our mission. All donations will go directly to a Be Like Brit general fund to support the children at Brit's Home.
Any donations/payments raised over the total amount due for the Britsionary's trip, will go to Brit's Home to support the children who live there.
What does it mean to be a “Britsionary”? Being a Britsionary means different things to everyone, but in essence it means you are continuing the compassion of Britney Gengel. Britsionarys travel to Haiti and work side-by-side with Haitian workers and interact with the children at BLB - to achieve a common goal - to fulfill Britney's last wish to help the children of Haiti.
Our Britsionarys have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills yet they are able to work together to help bring hope to the children of Brit's Home. In our past trips, we have had students, nurses, social workers, teachers, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters - and everyone has played an essential role in building Brit's Home and making our children feel deserving of love. We have also been blessed to have skilled tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians donate their time and teach their Haitian counterparts their skills and techniques.
Our Britsionary Program was created to provide an opportunity for volunteers to gain a better understanding of global partnerships and cultures. Short-term Britsionary groups take a 1 week service trip to Brit's Home in Haiti, to help with youth and community outreach projects and immerse themselves in the beautiful Haitian culture. This program gives young adults an opportunity to enhance their understanding of poverty and development while also broadening their global perspective. For non-medical Britsionarys, the mornings are spent building a home for a family in need in our community, and the afternoons are spent doing programatic activities with the children (field trips, coloring, games, learning activities, etc.). For medical Britsionarys, the mornings and some afternoons are spent working in the BLB or local public clinic, and the remaining time is spent with the children and the Britsionary group.
About Be Like Brit
In many ways, Britney Gengel of Rutland Massachusetts was a typical 19-year-old young woman, but her humor, passion and deep sense of caring for those less fortunate made her memorable to all who met her. It was her compassion for others that brought Britney to Haiti on January 11, 2010, just a day before a catastrophic earthquake claimed an estimated 230,000 lives and rocked the small, poverty-stricken country. Britney had spent the day visiting a Haitian orphanage where she and fellow students of Lynn University, met the Haitian orphans they had traveled so far to help. Just a few hours later, Britney, three of her fellow students, and two Lynn University professors lost their lives in the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince. Britney was missing for 33 days before her remains were recovered.
Fortunately, Britney’s dream did not die with her. Only hours before the earthquake, Britney sent a text message to her family that read:
“They love us so much and everyone is so happy.
They love what they have and they work so hard to get nowhere, yet they are all so appreciative. I want to move here and start an orphanage myself.”
- Britney Gengel, 3 hours before the earthquake
These forty words would sustain Britney’s family through the tragedy and, ultimately, serve as the driving force behind the establishment of Be Like Brit and the decision to build an orphanage in Grand Goâve for the children of Haiti.
Our Mission: Our commitment is to continue the compassion of Britney Gengel by serving the children of Haiti and sustaining a safe, nurturing home, rooted in the virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love, while developing a sense of social responsiblity, community involvement, and unconditional love.
Our Vision: To raise the next generation of leaders in Haiti.
Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc. is an official U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, tax ID #27-1857525.
|Sandra Kuipers||06/13/2019||$100.00||Uno Pizzeria & Grill||06/13/2019||$83.69||Bill & Mary Spalton||06/12/2019||$50.00||Prayers for you Brandis and the team as you all do God’s work!||Susan G Mateer||06/05/2019||$30.00||Susan B Dipilato||06/05/2019||$50.00||Margaret Kuipers||06/05/2019||$40.00||Theodore Haringa||06/05/2019||$100.00||Kimberly Bangma||06/02/2019||$80.00||God Bless You as you go and serve God in Haiti!||Anonymous Friend||05/29/2019||$100.00||heay!||Fairlawn Christian Reformed||05/28/2019||$500.00||Terese Ebbeling||05/20/2019||$100.00||Blessings on your ministry, Brandis! Love, Greg and Terry||Brandis Haagsma||05/17/2019||$100.00||Maryanne Wiersma||Anita Banning||05/16/2019||$25.00||Heidi Alcock||05/11/2019||$200.00||Best of luck from everyone at CPL, this is a great cause.||Mary Jo Rett||05/01/2019||$20.00||Jen Armington||04/28/2019||$200.00||Safe travels my friend!||Carmela Semonelli||04/18/2019||$100.00||In memory of your lovely Dad. God keep you safe and I pray you are touched by grace and healing that surpasses all understanding. You are a wonderful soul. XO||Dorothy Vanden Berg||04/16/2019||$100.00||Brandie Vande Werken||03/26/2019||$75.00||Brandis Haagsma||03/23/2019||$50.00||Marilyn Arrigan||Anonymous Friend||03/23/2019||$500.00||In memory of you beautiful father James. Know he will be with you on your mission of mercy in Haiti. Much love!!||Brandis Haagsma||03/19/2019||$150.00||Tom Kuik||Brandis Haagsma||03/19/2019||$50.00||John and Pat Lapoint||Anonymous Friend||03/08/2019||$150.00||Kathleen Hudson||03/03/2019||$250.00||Blessings for your trip, Brandis. What a way to make a difference!||Cara Ebbeling-Zabilansky||03/02/2019||$50.00||Dear Brandis, May God bless your mission work. We are proud of you and will be praying for you. In Christian Love, Jim and Cara Zabilansky||Joy Haagsma||03/02/2019||$100.00||Blessings for all||Paul Covino||02/28/2019||$25.00||Brandis: May God bless you and your team abundantly as you get to know the people of Haiti and help to provide a home for one of them. Paul and Anne Covino||Katheryne Lavoie||02/24/2019||$100.00||Brian Salatiello||02/24/2019||$50.00||Keep on singing and making music for others!||Karen Wielsma||02/16/2019||$75.00||Beckie Beaupre||02/14/2019||$100.00||Sending peace, love, and prayers to you and your team on this important mission. We love you, Brandis!||Ginette Hehn||02/13/2019||$50.00||Thanks for your willingness to give of your time, your resources, and your love to families and orphans in Haiti, Brandis! We'll be praying for you and your group from St. Pats.||Alexander Orr||02/10/2019||$100.00||Good luck Brandis!!||Yvette Ayotte-Kind||02/10/2019||$20.00||Marci Churn||02/09/2019||$25.00||I love all the funny positive posts you share! I can’t think of a more worthwhile cause!||Beverly Brown||02/09/2019||$50.00||God bless you!||Celine Hassell||02/09/2019||$25.00||So proud of your unselfish dedication to others||Maureen Huber||02/08/2019||$1,950.00||Brandis, God go with you||Brandis Haagsma||02/08/2019||$10.00||Carmela Semonelli||02/08/2019||$100.00||Many blessings sweet girl...what a gift you will be. Be safe!! Carmela (S- Momma)||Jerrilyn Gaye Shannon||02/05/2019||$100.00||Will be praying for you and your team too.||Brandis Haagsma||02/05/2019||$100.00||Brandis Haagsma||01/23/2019||$100.00|