Notre Dame students show their 'Hearts for Haiti

If last year’s fundraising efforts toward building homes in Haiti was a success for Notre Dame, this year’s effort goes well beyond the word “success.”

Tuesday, the Rotary Club of Crowley learned about the school’s efforts and how, in only two years, the project has grown and exceeded expectations.

The school’s “Have a Heart for Haiti” project started last year when the school heard of the conditions and the type of housing Haitians were living in and the Diocese of Lafayette invited its schools to join the SOLT Kobonal Haiti Mission. The mission is being led by Fr. Glenn Meaux of Abbeville.

It was then, according to student Brittany Domingue, the school realized it had to do something.

“We realized that we are not only blessed, but spoiled, compared to what they are living with daily, and we needed to do something to help,” she said.

There, the idea was forwarded for paying a fee to wear red shirts on Tuesdays during the Lenten season. That effort raised $1,400.

Over the summer, several Notre Dame alumni went to Haiti and came back and again spoke of the conditions and the work on projects like the school had joined.

The students were once again moved and this time wanted to do more. The whole student body wanted a chance to participate. The goal this year was to raise the $5,500 required to build a home in Haiti along with land for farming and for the family to be able to have money to learn to be self-sufficient.

Notre Dame had several ideas to attempt to see the goal become reality. The school wanted to bring back the “Wear Red” campaign for Tuesdays during Lent, but added a community Tasting Bee and a special shirt for the project as well.

“We really appreciate the people in the community, as well as at the school. This wouldn’t have been possible without them,” said Domingue.

And through the successful events, the effort went beyond what those at Notre Dame could have imagined.

“We really didn’t expect it to go this well,” said Mary Aline Melanson, a member of the Notre Dame faculty.

The group announced Tuesday that the school had raised $5,530. To sweeten the pot, the Rotary Club of Crowley also donated to the cause.

The group also showed a video showing how the project had gone at Notre Dame and part of a Youtube video that showed where the money was going in constructing the homes in Haiti.

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