Adopt A Doctor
As many of you know, St. Vincent's Center has a tripartite mission: the, school for 200 children with disabilities in Santo 17, the Brace Shop, and the Medical Clinic. Both of these latter are in downtown Port-au-Prince and serve the poorest of the poor.
The Medical Center is open five days a week and is staffed by ten physicians: five orthopedists, three pediatricians, an ophthalmologist, and a psychologist. Each one works one day a week at SVC or 48 days per year at the Clinic and sees approximately 500 patients in that time. We pay each one $6,000 a year for their skill and compassionate service. This $60,000 total is factored into our growing annual operating budget, which for 2021 stands at $600,000.
Would you consider "adopting" one of our skilled physicians? Your $6,000 gift would ensure our critical medical presence for those who come from all over the country to seek St. Vincent's medical care: a "brand name" throughout Haiti for quality and compassionate care. Your sponsoring gift would help to provide competent medical care for more than 500 youngsters a year: a high return on your investment and a joy for you, your physician, and the children who are healed.
Help to Feed SVC Students and Faculty
A nourishing hot mid-day meal is a feature of a St. Vincent's school day. We serve all 200 students, some 50 faculty, 20 adult residents, administrators, and maintenance staff. For many, it is the only meal they eat in a day. Some adult residents help with the preparation: shelling peas, husking corn, pitting fruit. We grow these crops, and others, in our garden. Food for the Poor frequently provides rice and beans: a staple of the Haitian diet. But, we must purchase everything else. With the revaluation of the gourde, it now costs $1,000 a month to purchase this food to ensure that the daily diet is a balanced one.
Kwashiorkor, which results from protein deficiency, is all too common in Haiti. Malnutrition is always a concern, as food insecurity increases. Children cannot study and learn effectively on empty stomachs, nor do hungry teachers teach to the best of their ability! Thus, this mid-day meal is an important component of a St. Vincent's education. A gift of $12,000 would ensure that every SVC school child is fed a healthy meal five days a week.
Provide Safe Drinking Water for Students and Faculty
Until we are able to build our own potable water system on the Santo 17 campus, we must purchase bottled water. Every month, our students and faculty drink 85 five-gallons worth! That's an annual cost of $8,400. Fortunately, these heavy five-gallon containers are glass, not plastic, so we are not polluting the environment. We look forward to the day when we can afford to dig a second well on the campus and appropriately treat raw water with up-to-date technology so that it is potable. Benjamin Franklin once wrote "When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." Until the campus has that well and that technology, St. Vincent's students and faculty can quench their thirst only with bottled water.
Give the Gift of Mobility
One of the five most common birth defects worldwide is a club foot. Before the age of 12-15 months, when normal walking begins, this condition is treatable with serial casting. After that age, generally only surgery can correct the defect. Serial casting is best begun a week or two after birth and continues until tendons have been stretched and aligned to correctly position the foot. The treatment consists of stretching, or torqueing, the foot to stretch the tendons and then encasing foot and leg in a cast. This process is repeated every week or so until the defect is corrected. Then, the child wears a brace for several years to maintain the correction. Our Orthopedic Surgeons and Physical Therapy technicians routinely perform this correction procedure at our downtown Medical Clinic and our Brace Shop handles the maintenance phase. A gift of $500 ensures this newfound mobility. It covers the services of an Orthopedic Surgeon, a Physical Therapy Assistant and materials required for successive plaster casts. It also changes a life.
Ensure that the Buses Run
Most of our 200 students and some of our faculty commute the 15 miles daily from downtown Port-au-Prince to the Santo 17 campus. The Haitian government provides the four buses and the drivers, but St. Vincent's pays the drivers. For an hour in each direction every day, these plucky drivers dodge pedestrians, potholes and Port-au-Prince traffic. It is a dance of the finest maneuvering! Patient and skillful, the drivers deliver their precious passengers to Santo 17 at 7:00 a.m. Supporting their vital role is $6,000 a year.
St. Vincent's Center, Haiti * 925 Hertzler Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 * 717-796-1852 * firstname.lastname@example.org.
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