H.O.W Celebrates 10th Anniversary

10th anniversary photo dinner

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My name is Marcel Toussaint and I’m president of Haitian Orphans Wish, or preferably known as H.O.W.

On this night of March 16th, 2013, H.O.W is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and I am delighted to be here celebrating this monumental occasion with you. As some of you know, I have a great family with a supporting wife and two beautiful children Stefan and Yamilée who are here celebrating with us. I am so proud of them but tonight, I want to talk about my H.O.W family.

The H.O.W family is our active members who took away time from their busy schedule to attend our monthly meetings, attend every event, and harass their friends and relatives to also attend. Thank you for being part of the family. The H.O.W family is also those of you that I call the “H.O.W friends” who go above and beyond to assist when requested. You may not attend our meetings, but you have been there for us. We thank you. This H.O.W family consists of our members’ spouses and significant others who sometimes work harder than us members. Thank you for your understanding and devotion to the cause. Finally, the H.O.W family is YOU who have been supporting us for the last 10 years. There is no word to describe our appreciation but thank you, thank you to every one of you.

Haitian Orphans Wish was formed in 2003 when my doctor Kenneth Petersel requested that I meet with another patient who was helping a priest operate an orphanage in Port-au-Prince Haiti. The orphanage was in desperate need of funding. My sister Carolle, my good friend Evans, and I met with Imogene, and the spark to help those orphans was ignited. I was very happy to see how easy it was to recruit my other friends to join the cause. We decided to assist but the question was why form another organization when there are so many others helping the motherland? Knowing that most of these organizations don’t survive, we did our homework. We established guidelines for strict accountability, making sure that your trust is unquestionable and your donations are being appropriated to the right charities. Every decision is discussed and authorized by the board. Haitian Orphans Wish was born.

As Rollande eloquently described in the slide presentation, H.O.W’s support of our Haitian children is evolving. We started with the goal of feeding and providing shelter for these children by supporting existing orphanages. We quickly realize that most of the kids are not orphans. Many have parents that are too poor to take care of them. We had to give them something that can last a lifetime. An education! Did you see those girls’ faces wearing their first school uniform from that orphanage in Ouanaminthe? This was my first visit to Haiti after a long, long absence. Visiting these girls made a big impression on all of us. They did not have much, but they looked so happy. HOW will be providing that orphanage with all the books and school supplies they need for the upcoming school year? Thank you, Joanne and Guy, for inviting me and my family to your hometown. Besides crossing the river between the Dominican Republic and Haiti on someone’s back, meeting these girls was one of the highlights of that trip.

On behalf of all the members of H.O.W I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all of you that came to support our 10th anniversary celebration. There are too many of you to name and too many of you to recognize but you know that you are all part of the HOW family. This is an old cliché, but once you are a member of the H.O.W family, you will ALWAYS be a member of the H.O.W family. Remember, a true giver is the one who gives and does not expect anything in return. This is our H.O.W family. This is our belief.

Thank you for all your support, and thank you for believing in us, I love you all!

Congratulations to our Award Recipients!

Some H.O.W members were presented with Citations from our Legislator Carrie Solages.  Our other honorees were presented with our prestigious H.O.W Toussaint Louverture Award In recognition of their outstanding support for Haiti’s orphaned children for the last 10 years. The award contains the following quote: “In overthrowing me, only the trunk of the tree of liberty has been cut down; branches will shoot up again, for its roots are numerous and deep” stated Toussaint Louverture, leader of the Haitian Revolution on the day of his arrest by the French in 1802. In his absence, the French army was defeated and in 1804, Haiti became the first black-led republic in the world.

Congratulation to our Citation Recipients presented by Nassau County Lagistlator Carrie Solages and a proclamation from the NY State Assembly presented by Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages.

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