Photo taken by Ron HessHauck, Armstrong, Rohl, and Sister Ninoche Emile behind repaired jewelry.
Photo taken by Ron Hess

Hauck, Armstrong, Rohl, and Sister Ninoche Emile behind repaired jewelry.
Here is yet another great example of how people in our community have found creative ways to help the poor in Haiti.

Over the last 20 years, Pat Hauck, Betty Armstrong, and Delores Rohl have organized a little operation where they collect old unwanted, broken, donated jewelry. They repair it, clean it, and then make a nice package for it. They then would send it down to a Haitian by the name of Mary Almond, who would turn it into a kind of start-up capital for small businesses for women needing an income.

Mary would find women in her community in Haiti who were the most-in-need, and would give some jewelry to them to sell for money to eat and live, but with one condition. The woman had to set aside one third of the revenue from everything she sells and save it up. It doesn't take too long before she has enough money to open her own street business, for example a fruit stand, in their local market place. Once the woman has this business, it helps her family to become self-sufficient and break them out of their cycle of poverty.

Since the start of this program, about 200 families have become self-sufficient in this way. All because three clever women found a way to turn some old, broken, unwanted jewelry into hope. And the generosity of our community has been incredible. In the last two years Ron Hess, a member of the local Rotary Club and parishioner of St Bernard Church, has delivered 110 lbs of this jewelry to Mary and her successor, Sister Ninoche Emile.

Now whenever you see a donation basket in a church for "used jewelry," it might bring Jesus' parable to mind:

"Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'" -- Gospel According to Matthew (25:34-40)

And you can feel confident that whatever you dropped in that basket made more of a difference that you ever imagined it could.

If you or your church has old or broken jewelry you would like to donate to this program, you can call Pat Hauck at 765 362 6048. You can also mail it to her at 306 Waynetown Road, Crawfordsville, 47933.