Hi <<First Name>>,
Happy New Year to you all! I had a great Messef Christmas Card set up to go out automatically after I had left for England to be with my family. However, I'm afraid I failed in the settings so sadly you didn't receive it, but the thought was definitely there. We also recorded a short message to send to you so here it is, better late than never.
Below I want to recognize what YOU have been a part of during the last year and, in a follow-up mail, I will let you know what we already have lined up for 2013.
I want to thank you all for your amazing support for Messef Orphanage during 2012. We have made the best use possible of your donations, with all money being used directly for the benefit of the children; you can be assured that you have helped the children stay alive. That may seem over dramatic but we really are the only group providing food and supplies on a regular basis for the orphanage so, without your help, I dread to think where the children would be. There is no government help whatsoever.
Here's a quick Review of the Year to remind you how you have helped and what we achieved together, besides the critical monthly food runs:
- The long awaited visit from Sandra, April, Stu and Posie, when they built an awesome hen coop, with much help from Jeanette and David, and installed it at Messef.
- Shay joined this visit with a view to helping with the Bakery Project.
- Medicines, mainly donated by Not Just Tourists, delivered and training given by Stu.
- Soil samples taken for analysis in Canada.
- Children taken on a day trip to town to a local playground by Posie and Pastor Quirico.
- Later in the month Pastor Vasile Ratiu and his brother, Daniel, visited, bringing supplies donated by Philadelphia Romanian Pentecostal Church in Cambridge, Ontario.
- Took a medical team to examine all the children and carry out tests where we had special concerns.
- Added the roof to the long in construction Pastor's house, made possible by Gerald and Donna.
- Delivered the "Father's Day Chickens" and settled them in the hen coop, training the boys selected to take care of them.
- Unexpectedly met with Government Inspectors to discuss demands for improving Messef.
- Delivered teachers' desks provided by Lisa and built by David
- Accompanied by Miguelina Zayas, who offered educational consultancy for the school.
- Delivered clothes and supplies, with a very welcome supply of personal items for the older girls.
- Jeanette organized and supervised the children in a major clean-up of the land adjoining the school.
- Added a Frequently Asked Questions Section to the Website.
- Gerald and Donna visited Messef yet again and blessed the children in a multitude of ways, with support from their friends and church family. Thanks a million to all of you.
- Began a process of reviewing how we can best move forward in development at Messef.
- Jurgen visited and added to his stunning portfolio of photos of the children and of Haiti.
- Provided every child with at least one laminated photo of themselves, photos provided by Lisa and laminated by Jeanette. They were delighted.
- Following on from the recommendations of the medical team, we administered anti-parasite medicine to all and provided other necessary medication and a course of vitamins and minerals for all children, thanks largely to Rhonda, Sandra and Tammy.
- Installed a basketball set donated by Marilyn.
- We heard from Julienne, of A Heart for Haiti Missions, that we had been nominated and won a prize of bakery equipment in a competition organized by the Brazilian Government (update to follow).
- Later in the month, Bernadette visited with her niece, Jackie, and Gerald's cousin, Susan, bringing clothes, food, medicines etc., and buying sufficient fabric for new uniforms for all the school children. Bernadette, we so appreciate all you do.
- Shauna from Canada became our first monthly sponsor, choosing to donate towards the chicken food budget. A zillion thanks, Shauna!
- Pastor Quirico and Danilo visited during an outbreak of flu which fortunately all the children recovered from.
- Mami Jeanette underwent back surgery in England so will be away from Messef for a considerable time - but still involved from a distance.
- Linda also in hospital with back problems.
- The turn of Jacques from Not Just Tourists to be in hospital.
- Ikey, 6, with the help of Mum, Natasha, continued his fundraising tradition for Messef, this time by making and selling lemonade in the heat of summer, to help feed the children.
- Hurricane Isaac struck the Dominican Republic and Haiti but fortunately all safe at Messef.
- Trudy offered country music CDs for sale in aid of Messef; she may still have some if anyone is interested.
- Cliff from England became our second monthly sponsor, contributing towards the food budget. You are wonderful!
- Emergency appeal for urgent food run well-responded to.
- Some great new staff had joined Messef but sadly, due to a series of different health emergencies, they are no longer there.
- School enrollment began, with far more children registering for the school.
- April's turn to be in hospital.
- Melissa went to serve as a missionary in Africa, not forgetting the children before she left.
- An outbreak of sickness and diarrhea at Messef, but thankfully NOT cholera.
- Trudy and Ken, from England, became our third monthly sponsors, also helping out with the food budget. Thank you so much!
- Along with the food run, we were able to take some special treats, provided by Glenda and Jurgen, so the children got to celebrate Thanksgiving. Jurgen and Rene accompanied us.
- Launched the Appeal "2013 A New Year, A New Hope" with a range of fundraising offers and a target of US$3,000 to cover two months' of full food runs. Generous donations start to come in and Mami Jeanette started making and selling cards for Messef.
- Friends of Messef joined Easyfundraising for shoppers in the UK.
- Haiti hit by Hurricane Sandy, but thankfully Messef spared again.
- The artistic ones amongst us started producing, printing and selling postcards, Christmas cards, calendars, play dough etc, all to raise funds. Thanks Jurgen, Shauna, Trudy, Jeanette and Kat.
Shauna still has beautiful postcards for sale, so please contact us if you would like some. They can be used the year round and are really appealing.
- Obtained a permit to allow us to take the truck across the frontier with supplies, to avoid the problems we have experienced leading up to this.
- During the food run, we extended the size of the chicken coop run with wire provided by Martin. This will hopefully improve laying and possibly reduce the quantity of chicken food needed.
- At the end of the month, Lorenzo and Darren visited, with Jurgen, and this renewed our friendship with Lorenzo and began it with Darren. They again blessed the children by their visit.
- Fundraising going well with Friends generously supporting the end of year Appeal. We are less than US$700 short of our $3,000 target. If anyone would like to help us meet that goal by the end of January, you are not too late.
- Special meal scheduled for the New Year, generously funded by Donna and Gerald.
So here is a large round of applause to the following people (in no particular order), located in Canada, the USA, the UK and the Dominican Republic, who helped in so many ways during 2012:
Donna, Gerald and their friends, Bernadette, Rhonda, Jeanette and David, Sandra, April, Tammy, Posie and Stu, Bridget, Melissa, Shauna, Cliff, Lisa, Kay, Natasha and Ikey, Trudy and Ken, Simon, Shelly and Debert School, Lauren, Joy, Glenda and Ted, Glenda, Franz, Martin, Corey and Rob, Jurgen, Carl and Deb, Julienne, Judith, Judy, Catherine, Kat and Ben, Dixie, Shay, Vivienne and Bert, Margaret, Susan, Jackie, Beth and John, Pauline and Jamie, Wendy, Lorenzo, Darren, Gayle, Pastor Vasile Ratiu and Philadelphia Romanian Pentecostal Church, Daniel Ratiu, Sherri and Aaron, Simona, Bonnie and the team from Canada, Marilyn, Linda, Jenny, Dr. Cheryl, Nataliia, everyone at Not Just Tourists (Jacques, Brigit, Ed etc.), and all our friends and helpers from our Dominican churches. If there is anyone I have missed, please accept my humble apologies and many thanks to you, too!
Finally, we wish to honour the people nominated by Rhonda whilst making her Christmas donation in memory of these family members: Winnie Berry, Bernard Berry, Thomas Berry, Linda Berry, George Obiero, Garnet Recoskie. Bless you, Rhonda.
We will follow up with a look ahead to 2013 in the very near future. Please pass these mails on to any friends or family members who may be interested in hearing about what you are involved in or in joining us.
Linda Stapleton de Martinez