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Charlie's II Event - January 2012

April 2011 -- Best in Class: Ashford Employees Volunteer in Haiti

November 2011 Trivia Night - Details on How to Register Your Team

Coastal Catholic couple serves at Haiti clinic * They went the extra miles for Haiti

'Dr. V's' trying to restore Haiti's smile 

J-S LETTER: Mission with local ties speaks on Haiti news

Student Donates to CCHMP

X-Ray Machine Donation

Clinton Herald Photo

A Profile of Christina Mahoney

Charlie's II Event - January 2012

Carroll County Haiti Mission Project’s eleventh annual music fund-raiser will be held at Charlie’s II in Mt. Carroll on Saturday, Jan. 28.  “The L.R. Band” from Peoria will begin playing at 7 p.m. and the event features music, food and other activities.

CCHMP members plan to make the group’s 33rd trip to the Juampas region of the Caribbean island February 15-21. 

CCHMP teams travel to Haiti three times each year.  Teams are limited to 12 people and team members pay their own airfare and travel expenses, for food and potable water while in Haiti , departure tax, immunizations and passports.  The group’s projects include continued work on its medical/dental clinic, support of several schools, sponsorship of schoolchildren and vaccination, water purification and dental health programs.  

 All donated money goes to the group’s projects; there are no administrative costs. Prior to a team leaving for Haiti, funds are sent to purchase construction materials, food and water.

            The group will also have a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Mount Carroll United Methodist Church. 

The public is invited to both events.

Also, CCHMP’s annual spring trivia night is set for Saturday, April 14 at Manny’s Pizza in Savanna; more information will be available as the event gets closer or click here to register your team!

Best in Class: Ashford Employees Volunteer in Haiti

 

(The following story was featured in the April 2011 issue of “The Learning Curve,” a publication for employees at Ashford University.  CCHMP members Christina Mahoney and Larry Libberton are AU employees.)

Even though the village of Juampas is only 40 miles from Port-au-Prince, it takes nearly four hours to reach the village from Haiti’s capital city. The conditions of the roads through the Haitian countryside are poor and difficult to traverse. Once visitors reach Juampas, they find a village without running water. Electricity is scarce and there is no regular telephone or mail service. All in all, Juampas seems like an unusual place for a couple of Ashford University employees to spend their vacation, but that’s exactly what Director of Communications Larry Libberton and Campus Admissions Counselor Christina Mahoney did in February.

The trip to Haiti was the latest in a long line of Juampas visits by the Carroll County Haiti Mission Project (CCHMP). The project started in 2001 with the goal of building a much-needed medical/dental clinic in the rural village. Over the past decade, the volunteers from the mission and local villagers have managed to build a functioning medical facility constructed entirely from handmade cement blocks. The facility features several dental and medical examination rooms, a pharmacy, an educational conference room, waiting rooms and storage areas.

Making three trips per year to Juampas, the CCHMP is improving conditions in the poorest country in the western hemisphere – a country that is still reeling from the effects of a massive earthquake that devastated the island a year ago.

“These are some of the poorest people in the world,” said Larry Libberton. “There are no governmental programs, no help for these people to fall back on.”

The February visit was Larry’s sixth trip to Juampas. On this trip, he spent four days working in the dental clinic, helping out with various dental procedures.

“Haitian dentistry is very different from what we’re used to,” Larry said. “There’s no preventative dentistry so people only go to the dentist when the situation has deteriorated badly. We mostly did extractions.”

It was through Larry that Christina Mahoney became involved with the CCHMP. After reading a story about Larry in The Clarion, Ashford’s campus newspaper, Christina sought him out to learn more about his experiences in Haiti. Christina had attended college in Florida and had become friends with many people who had emigrated from Haiti.

“When I worked at a Bennigan’s while in Florida, there were many Haitian women who worked there and I tried talking with them with the French I remembered from high school,” Christina said. “I learned a lot about Haiti and I always wanted to visit.”

Five months after Christina expressed to Larry her interest in going to Haiti, she was on her way to the Caribbean nation.

In February, Christina embarked on her third trip to Haiti. While there, Christina helped with various tasks at the medical facility. She also canoed to another more remote village to bring supplies to their school. This side trip was part of the CCHMP’s expanded scope in Haiti. CCHMP now also supports one-room schools in Loperon and Paredon by providing school supplies, clothing, hygiene items and vitamins to the students.

“The people there are so appreciative,” Christina said. “They come up to you and say ‘thank you for coming to our country. We love America.’”

It should also be noted that Larry and Christina have paid their own expenses for their numerous visits to Haiti. It is all part of the CCHMP’s goal of dedicating all funds they raise directly toward assisting the people of Haiti.

“These small community groups are the ones that are able to donate 100% of their funds to their cause,” Christina noted. “I encourage people to donate anything they can give to organizations like that.”

November 2011 Trivia Night

One hundred new questions –10 questions from 10 categories – are ready to test the smarts of teams at the Carroll County Haiti Mission Project’s sixth Trivia Night fund raiser on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Buck’s Barn, north of Thomson.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top two teams.

Registration fee is $10 per person. Teams of 4-8 can register online at http://cchmp-022008a.tripod.com/trivia.html, by sending their team information to libberton@grics.net, by calling Larry Libberton at 815.244.1357 or on the night of the event.  It is recommended that teams register prior to the event.  (When you register online, we'll give you the answer to one of the trivia night's questions!!)  

Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the competition set to begin at 7 p.m.  Competition will consist of 10 rounds of 10 questions.

Click here to download the November 2011 Trivia NightPoster!

Student Donates to CCHMP

Emily Legel, left, a student at West Carroll Intermediate School in Thomson, recently sponsored Crazy Hair Day and for $1 each student could have crazy hair, with the proceeds going to CCHMP.

X-Ray Machine Donation

In December 2007, Dr Stephen F. Petras (second from left) of the Stockton (Illinois) Dental Center donated a panoramic X-ray machine to CCHMP.  CCHMP members transported the machine to a storage facility until it can be shipped to the clinic in Juampas.

Clinton Herald Photo

The February 2008 crew is holding a copy of the Clinton Herald newspaper for its “Where’s Harold” feature.

A Profile of Christina Mahoney

(Christina Mahoney made her first trip to Haiti with CCHMP in February 2008.  Her trip was featured in “The Learning Curve,” the staff newsletter of her employer, Ashford University .)

 

Christina is an admissions representative for traditional campus students in Clinton , working with all transfer students east of the Mississippi and internationally.

She says the thing she loves most about AU is working face to face with prospective students and assisting them through the admissions process. When she’s not working hard, she likes to read, travel, play tennis and most of all spend time with her husband Dan and daughter Lauren.

When she was in college in Florida , Christina had a lot of friends who were Haitian and became intrigued with the island nation…so much so, that she took a summer class in French Creole, because she was determined to someday visit Haiti . She moved back to the Midwest and still dreamed about visiting, figuring maybe one day she would have the chance.

As fate would have it, Larry Libberton, Ashford’s own Director of Communications, is very involved in a group called the Carroll County Haiti Mission Project (www.cchmp.org) and they make frequent trips to Haiti , specifically a village called Juampas, to help build, develop and staff a medical/dental clinic for the village. Since first going in 2001, the organization has extended its help to other remote villages of Loperon and Peredon, where CCHMP has distributed supplies to schools that educate hundreds of students of all different ages.

Being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, every penny counts and the CCHMP has quite literally transformed the village of Juampas and its people, not only with medical, educational, and social needs, but giving the rare gift of hope.

You can imagine then when these two crossed paths, there was no stopping Christina! Larry invited her to a CCHMP meeting, and she wanted in immediately. She joined the CCHMP and was able to go on her very first trip to see their work in action, late last month.

“Larry Libberton really drew me to the mission. Once I heard all of the great things they were doing and the impact they were having on the people of Haiti especially in Juampas and Loperon I was hooked! It has always been one of my dreams to visit Haiti ,” Christina told the Learning Curve. “I have a godson who is Haitian and many friends as well. I look forward to being able to improve the lives of those who reside in these communities as well as impact my own through this experience.”

Christina said the trip was life-changing. “When we were touching down into the capital of Port-Au-Prince , you could see a lot of brown, because of the deforestation. I was astounded by how mountainous it was as well. When we landed, the air was a warm, tropical blast. The hustle and bustle of Port-Au-Prince was overwhelming—there were vehicles and scooters zipping around, with an occasional horse and donkey.”

The February mission group had 20 people, 10 from CCHMP, and the others from the Boston , Massachusetts area. Upon arrival, they were loaded into a big, open truck. The entire group had more than 200 bags, most of which were supplies, so the bags were loaded in and everyone sat on top.

Even though the town of Juampas is only 35 miles from the capital, the roads were so pockmarked and rough, that it took hours to get there.

Juampas, where the group has built a clinic and provided educational and other services to the townspeople, has no electricity and indoor plumbing (Editors’ Note: It was my first question too! They used an outhouse, affectionately named “Little House on the Prairie.”)

Christina said the people in the village gave her one of the warmest welcomes she could remember.  “They are so incredibly excited to see you, especially the children. We were greeted with hugs and kisses, like long lost family. I can’t remember how many times we were thanked. They are so appreciative of the work we are doing in their community.”

The group stayed in a house in Juampas, with about 5 bedrooms with 5 or 6 beds in each room. The house had bucket showers, but Christina followed local tradition and went to a small nearby city that has a creek with a tube streaming in fresh mountain water. That was where most of the villagers bathed, cleaned their clothing, and filled up water jugs. Christina said she donned a swimsuit, but many of the Haitians took a freer approach and bathed in the buff.

While only there for a short time, Christina and her group worked at the clinic they built in Juampas, sponsored new children so they could go to school, distributed mosquito netting, and more. Additionally, they visited two other villages, bringing them badly-needed school supplies and dental fluoride treatments.

One boy who really tugged at Christina’s heartstrings during her visit was named MacKenzie. Just nine years old, he is the only one of his five sisters that can go to school. He quietly asked Christina to please help find sponsors so his sisters could join him in getting an education.

She didn’t take the request lightly, and is committed to telling his family’s story to her church and community, so that all six children can get an education, and reap the rewards that come with it. It costs $150 a year to send one Haitian child to elementary school. A pair of shoes for many of us, is an impossible sum for families like MacKenzie’s.

Christina says she will most definitely go to Haiti again, and hopes to make the trip once a year. Do you have the travel bug, or did this make you want to get involved in the Haitian cause? If so, please email Larry Libberton for details.  

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Page last updated: January 18, 2012 19:35:10 -0600 .