Isabelle Redford Makes News

101Friday, Jul. 03, 2009
Parsons girl raises money for Haiti homes
By BRIAN HOLDERMAN – Parsons Sun

PARSONS, Kan. — A two-year journey of hope to help others less fortunate in other countries can be rewarding for those willing to put forth a little effort.

Isabelle Redford, 7, began her journey with the idea of providing aid to C3 Missions and the Global Orphan Project. She helped by hand-making gift cards. Her parents, Kevin and Kelly Redford of Parsons, have done mission work in Haiti and they explained some of their work to Isabelle on their return in 2005.

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Her parents told her two babies born premature and their mother had died during child birth. The missions group with the help of members of the community helped care for the infants. In Haiti, if a person touches a child after a parent dies then they are to assume responsibility for the child.

Isabelle’s passion to help those children and others grew and her mom and dad encouraged her to do what she could to provide for them in some way. She began by drawing and coloring pictures and with some help from C3 Missions she was able to have a collection of cards boxed with envelopes to help her sell more cards in a shorter time frame. The box of cards sell for $40 with each dollar earned going directly to funding a new home for orphan children.

Isabelle has raised a little more than $10,000 through card sales, garage sales that include some of her art work, toys, clothes and baked goods with the help of her family.

Her first missions home she helped build was in Tiatayn, Haiti, in Hope Village. She raised $5,000 for part of a four-apartment complex for six orphans to live and a house mother. The home was given the name of Isabelle Redford’s House of Hope by the family who is living there. The kids who live there range in age from 5 to 12 and despite their language barriers they found they had many things in common: jump rope, soccer, hide and seek.

“Most people in Haiti live in shanties. While things don’t really look that poor since they drive cars, there isn’t much produce or income due to all the stripping of the land during the time when the French occupied the area,” Isabelle said.

“There are hurricanes and mud slides and many people perish from these events yearly,” she said. Isabelle also said she enjoyed going there on the mission trip and meeting all the kids. Isabelle brought beads and other trinkets there and spent time with the kids making necklaces and bracelets and visiting the school, church and doctor’s office and attempting to survive the humidity and heat.

Haitians said around 1,300 students attended the school nearest Village of Hope. Haiti has a 70 percent illiteracy rate. Isabelle and her mom both said it wasn’t uncommon for them to be walking down a street and see kids and families sifting through the trash along the roads trying to find food or items that they could sell or trade for food.

The second home is scheduled to begin construction soon in Ghana or Kenya, Africa, on $5,000 she earned through card sales and donations from churches and other youth organizations.

Isabelle now has a blog (artsfororphans.blogspot.com) and Global Orphans’ Project has a Web site (http://www..org), which has a $1 million challenge going on until Sept. 20, with a dollar for dollar donation match to assist orphans through C3 Missions and Global Orphans Project.