By Mark Kerney, Hill York COO –
Hill York sent an amazing team of people for seven days to Haiti last week. I had the pleasure of tagging along as the apprentice. The purpose? Install two air conditioning systems complete with duct work for the food storage facility owned by Convoy of Hope. This brand new warehouse will allow Convoy to serve over 100,000 children’s meals per day through their partner, Mission of Hope. Both are faith based charities headquartered in the United States.
Convoy and Mission teamed up many years ago to serve the orphans in Haiti. They were instrumental in serving the tremendous needs of the people there after the earthquake in 2010. They have been serving over 50,000 meals per day through the local orphanages while measuring and weighing the children to make sure they are being fed. There is a strong sense of accountability by the people running Mission of Hope to make sure their food is getting directly to the children.
Hill York provided the staging of the equipment, materials and tools necessary for this job in our warehouse until it could be put on a container and shipped to Haiti. Once the container cleared customs and was delivered to Mission of Hope’s property, we got the call to send in the volunteer team of experts to install it all.
Julio Hernandez, Les Corbin and Rick Booth provided the skilled craftsmanship. Once we completed the a/c systems installation we were asked to hook up the refrigeration for a new walk-in cooler and freezer system. The team spent five days working and took advantage of the sixth day to tour some orphanages and see some of the city of Port Au Prince.
What we saw on that sixth day really touched our hearts. The magnitude of the poverty and the amount of children in need overwhelmed us. The average orphanage we saw was run by a married couple who take in anywhere from 30 to 50 abandoned children. The most serious need for those kids, besides food, is love and attention. They really just want to be held by someone! As you can see from some of the pictures below, we had the opportunity to provide some of that too.
The experience was both heart wrenching and heart warming. Even though the living quarters we were provided were significantly less than Spartan, they were luxurious compared to what we saw on our tour. None of us will soon forget those children’s faces as we left. All of us on the team are grateful that Hill York provided us the opportunity to go and help these kids.
What we experienced really can’t be explained in words. So if you ask one of the team members about their trip and you don’t get much, it’s just hard to explain. It is one of those things that you just have to go and see for yourself. The team also wanted to make sure I thank each and every Hill Yorker for taking over their normal work load while we were gone. It was a great experience that none of us will ever forget!