"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping... you'll know that there's hope.' To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -- so many caring people in this world." - Mr. Rogers
2020 has not been an easy year, but you don't need to hear that from me. The pandemic has made us a global family, siblings by experience, all of us living with some measure of fear or loss or illness. Sometimes it feels like there's pain everywhere I look, and the "scary things in the news" can be overwhelming, but I'm reminded of the advice given to Fred Rogers when he was just a boy. Shift your focus. Look for the helpers. That's where you'll find hope.
It's true. There are helpers all around us: Doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms who are providing treatment to scared patients; teachers who are nurturing students behind a camera or a mask, sometimes both; mental health professionals caring for people struggling with isolation; first responders who run towards danger for the sake of a stranger; brave citizens who speak out for the marginalized and oppressed; moms, dads, partners, sisters, brothers, friends who pour love into our lives. Right now, take a moment to pause and be grateful for the helpers in your life.
When I think of helpers, I also think of you. Your gifts and prayers have empowered even more helpers in Haiti at a time when they most needed you. Truly, with your help, our partners in Terrier Rouge have helped thousands of people this year by responding to unpredictable crises as they arose. From educating kids in the midst of a pandemic, to bringing soap, masks, and clean water to families, to keeping the clinic open despite threats of political unrest, they helped others because you helped them.
Our Thanksgiving newsletter is filled with inspirational stories of helpers: a beautiful example of how Espérance et Vie and the clinic came together to save a woman's life, how Jatrofa Projenou is impacting, and is impacted by, families just like yours, and a spotlight on a helper who, inspired by the founder of Bethlehem Ministry, discovered a creative way to use his gifts in support of Pere Bruno. These stories provide a close, personal look at the transformative services provided by Espérance et Vie and Jatrofa Projenou. Every person served could tell you how they have been empowered through your support, and that's a lot of people! By the end of 2020, we will have treated over 6,000 patients at the clinic, educated more that 1,000 students, employed hundreds, and distributed food, masks, and soap to thousands of vulnerable people in Terrier Rouge and surrounding communities.
I don't need to look far to find the helpers. We are all the helpers. Your donation to our Annual Campaign empowers our partners in Haiti to be the same. Our Haitian friends remain physically, financially, and ecologically vulnerable to threats beyond COVID, so we continue the work, blessed to be given the opportunity to bring Hope & Life to Haitian children, moms, dads, partners, sisters, brothers, and friends, like those you gave thanks for a moment ago.
Let's shift our focus. Let's be the helpers. That's where we'll find Hope.