What We Do
Our mission is to help distressed communities in need of material, education, or medical supplies. Our goal is to promote healthcare, education, small business development and spiritual support. At the present time, we are concentrating our efforts in the city of Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti and surrounding mountain villages as a result of the devastating earthquake which occurred in 2010 and hurricane Matthew in 2016.
Helping Hugs, Inc. and St. William Catholic Church have joined the Parish Twining Program of the Americas and are working closely with Father Islaire, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Côtes-de-Fer.
As a result of our medical mission trips, Helping Hugs,Inc., for Haiti identified that many of the illnesses can be traced to the lack of clean water. Therefore, Helping Hugs, Inc., for Haiti initiated a series of “Clean Water” projects to help improve the health and hygiene of the people of Côtes-de-Fer and surrounding communities. Currently, the focus is to provide a source of clean water by drilling wells in communities where there is nothing readily available. With six communities, plans are to drill at least one well per year. The first well was completed in the spring of 2021.
Attempting to break the cycle of poverty, Helping Hugs, Inc. has sponsored the cost of education for children of the St. Joseph Parish. We are now in our eleventh year and have steadily increased the number of children sponsored each year. For the year 2020 – 21, over 320 students were sent to one of the 3 schools in the area. We also provide scholarships for students to attend a local secondary school. Many of the families cannot afford to give their children an education and so Father Islaire is grateful for the assistance we provide.
Many families have no source of income and therefore cannot escape the poverty level of their existence. Well chosen grants to seed a small business can bring a family income and change their lives. One of our major projects for 2018 was to provide a roof for the St. Lawrence Chapel.
Since twinning with St. Joseph Parish in Cotes de Fer in 2009 the parish has conducted many medical mission trips to the village of Cotes de Fer and the surrounding mountain chapels with physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, a pharmacist, and nurses from our local area. In addition to treating patients and providing medical supplies, patients are taught about preventive health care through presentations conducted while patients are waiting to be seen. Donated personal care items are used as gifts and an opportunity to teach hygiene as disease prevention.
Merci Seigneur” (Thank you God”) was the reaction of the parishioners of St. Matthias chapel when the pure water flowed, August 27th. These people have been working toward this day for many years.
Thanks to our partner, World Water Relief, we were able to provide water on the main street of the village for the community and behind the chapel for a children’s hand washing station.
While we are pleased with our accomplishments to date, we still have work to do. Our school children also need a clean safe source of water to keep them healthy and in school. We authorized the purchase of 2 small water purifying system, manufactured by LifeStraw, each of the schools we support. This system will supply enough water for drinking and cooking.
We are currently investigating the feasibility and cost of drilling a well to supply our first water purification system in Cotês-de-Fer. The government water source has been erratic during the drought and there is always a fee for the water used. A well would eliminate the cost as well as interruptions in the water supply.