In March of 2017, our family made the decision to move to California from Massachusetts. So we planned to have a garage sale before the move. Around the time we were deciding to move to CA, our family friends, Bill and Judy Long, introduced us to Pastor Arthur Demosthenes, who is doing life-changing work in Canaan, Haiti. When he mentioned a need to build a 6th grade classroom at the Grace primary school in Canaan, we were inspired to help support the school. Since we were planning on having a garage sale, we offered to donate the proceeds towards the building of the 6th grade classroom.
As the date of the yard sale approached, our family decided to change our small garage sale into a community yard sale. We contacted the local newspaper, posted on the community blog, and emailed friends and family to spread the news. At first, we were worried that few people would come to our yard sale, let alone help. But on the day of the yard sale, an astounding number of townsfolk showed up with their own items, purchased goods, and even stayed to help manage the process. It was a great community bonding event, and in just one weekend, we raised $3,000. We were able to cover the entire cost of the 6th grade classroom, and used the leftover money to purchase desperately needed medicine for people in Canaan. The yard sale allowed us to experience the power of one community’s effort to help another community.
Later that summer, we traveled to Haiti for the first time, to witness the impact that the classroom would have on the people there. Although our trip was tiring, filled with mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches, we loved the connections that we made with the people! We could not talk with the people because of the language barrier, but we found ways to communicate nonetheless. We even painted the classroom that we had helped fund, and were deeply moved by how the community viewed it as hope for the future. No one in our family thought that this trip would become a way for us to make a positive impact on the lives of others, but we are glad to have gotten so much motivation and inspiration from our trip.