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Thanksgiving Blessing: Bergen County Student Leaders Donate $1,500 to Haiti Fund

Bergen County

By: Richard L. Smith 

In a heartwarming display of solidarity and generosity just before Thanksgiving, student leaders from the Academy of the Holy Angels' Solidarity with Haiti organization came together to make a significant donation of $1,500 to the School Sisters of Notre Dame's Haiti Fund.AdSchool officials told RS Media that the poignant moment happened during the Thanksgiving Prayer Service, led by the dedicated members of Solidarity with Haiti, including President Sophia Chounoune, Vice President Beatrice Gee, Secretary Lily Gee, Treasurer Stephanie Chan, and Junior Vice President Natalie Tabbone.

Amidst cheers from the school community, Chounoune shared how the proceeds from this month's Jeans Pass and Sno Cones for Haiti fundraisers had made this substantial contribution possible.

She emphasized that AHA sees itself as a part of a global community that champions human dignity, underscoring the importance of their mission.

Chounoune then presented the generous donation to the SSND Haiti Committee co-chair and SSND Associate Kathleen Sylvester, who expressed her gratitude by saying, "I can't thank you enough; you're making a huge difference."

Sylvester shed light on how AHA's support is instrumental in helping families in Haiti send their children to school and save valuable time, thanks to rainwater catchment systems that eliminate the need to search for clean water sources.

She also highlighted the progress made on Lagonav Island since the School Sisters began their work there in 2016, now assisting 79 communities.

Despite the unrest in Haiti, Sylvester remained hopeful about the situation on Lagonav, an island somewhat isolated from the mainland's turmoil.

Notably, Sylvester emphasized that all funds raised by Solidarity for Haiti's events go directly to benefit the people of Haiti, thanks to their partnership with Beyond Borders.

AdRLS Media learned that during the service, Solidarity with Haiti screened a poignant video showcasing the impact of the Family Graduation Program run by Beyond Borders, which empowers individuals living in poverty to build their homes, start gardens, care for livestock, manage finances, and access essential resources.

Principal Jean Miller praised the students for their $1,500 contribution, stating, "All of it adds up."

She commended the school community for their collective dedication to charitable works and kindness, expressing her gratitude for being a part of such a compassionate community.

Solidarity with Haiti, originally established by Janella Osbourne (AHA '22), continues its mission of compassion and support with its upcoming fundraiser, "Hoodies for Haiti."

This event, akin to Jeans Pass, will enable students to contribute to Solidarity with Haiti in exchange for the privilege of wearing a hoodie to school on December 7, furthering their commitment to aiding the people of Haiti.