CCHMP NEWS STORIES
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!
(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
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
“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.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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.
In December 2007, Dr Stephen F. Petras (second from left) of the
The February 2008 crew is holding a copy of the
Mahoney made her first trip to
Christina is an admissions representative for
traditional campus students in
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.
she was in college in
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
the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, every penny counts and the CCHMP
has quite literally transformed the
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.
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
said the trip was life-changing. “When we were touching down into the capital
February mission group had 20 people, 10 from CCHMP, and the others from the
though the town of
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.”)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
says she will most definitely go to