Marking the second anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, the Parish of St Mark, Gonaives has written a letter of thanks to the Diocese of Meath for the support it received. Over € 300,000 was collected by parishes in the Diocese of Meath in 2010.
Among those who receive assistance from this fund is Sister Mary Hardiman, who works at St Mark’s Parish in Gonaives, Haiti. Sister Mary’s family live in Dunderry, Co. Meath.
Aside from the Earthquake Relief Fund, some parishioners in Mullingar organised a collection of sports kits and sent many of them to young people in Haiti. There was a huge response to the appeal and the Lions Club helped generously with the transport costs.
The photo above shows a local soccer team wearing the jerseys sent from here. The captain’s name is George and he too wrote a letter. He explains that his team “St Mark’s” took part in a regional championship last year. They made it to the final and they won, 3-2. In the letter, he says “we were overjoyed to win and we received a massive trophy. We were proud to wear the sports kits you sent us from Ireland”. And then the letter continues “We have another championship in 2012 and we wonder if there is any chance you could send us some more sports kits”.
Another photos shows Sr Mary Hardiman with Captain George holding the winning trophy and wearing a Westmeath jersey.
In some ways, the jerseys are irrelevant. The bigger and more important picture is that, by donating to Trócaire, Irish people contributed €7.58 million to the Haiti relief efforts, half of which came from parish collections. That money was used to provide food to 1.5 million people, healthcare to one million people and shelter to 160,000 people. The jersey project is just a symbol of the solidarity and friendship that exists, born out of tragedy. Once again, people in the Diocese of Meath show themselves to be exceptionally generous and sensitive to the needs of others.