Worth the weightRich Stigall
Children bring out the best, and the worst, in us. More is at stake when children are involved, because no child – orphaned or blue blood – can provide for themselves. They will thrive or dive based on the quality of care provided for them. Step into their world, as a parent, a partner, a champion for children, and one feels the weight of this responsibility.
Dana Srebrenik is such a champion. In August 2010, Dana went to Haiti the first time. Like many of us, she saw children at Jumecourt eating under an overhang, all facing the same direction. No family eats like that. Families eat around tables, facing one another, talking, laughing, and sharing, but changing that reality for eighty is weighty. Several tables would be required; not to mention a place to put them. All in, the eating pavilion would be a $10,000 project…and it appeared the money would be needed in about a month.
Dana is bright, professional, and works hard, but doesn’t carry around that kind of coin. So, she got an idea to throw a Halloween for Haiti 2010 party. You know the kind: costumes, spirits, DJ, dancing, orphan care presentation. She hadn’t done anything like this before, but it had potential, if she could find a place to have it, someone to cater it, decorate it, DJ it, and enough people to come, cover costs, and care for kids. With some crazy generosity from many (including the Patchwork ladies), the funds were raised!
Now the weight turned to wait. The quality work crew in Haiti wasn’t available. The design got changed. Weather delays. Other projects got priority. Months passed. Questions arose. Valid questions from those who gave: how is the eating pavilion coming? And the unasked question behind it: this isn’t just another of those scams, is it?
No, it’s not. This fall, Dana went back for what is becoming one of her “regular” trips to Haiti. She sat with the children while they ate in their new pavilion.
“It’s better than I thought it would be,” Dana said with a smile, and it is. The kids love it. They eat all their meals there, together, and Volcy even holds a choir practice or two, taking advantage of the acoustics of a tin roof.
Was it worth all the hassle? According to Dana, definitely! Children are more than worth the weight.