Hats on for Haiti

By Cadyn Dubuc (Grade 7)

In September 2016, a powerful hurricane struck many areas of Haiti. This was the hurricane known as Hurricane Matthew. Hurricane Matthew was especially devastating to Petit Trou de Nippes—a small town where Thunder Bay residents Kirsty Bourret and her husband Mackenzy Vilme used to live, along with their family who still lives there. When Kirsty and Mackenzy learned of the devastation, they took quick action and began different methods of fundraising to contribute to rebuilding their town.

Throughout the years, Haiti has survived a number of natural disasters that have unfortunately wiped out many of their resources. Hurricane Matthew took away a lot of their food sources by destroying their trees and agriculture. They depend on their trees and farmland to give them most of their food and income. The hurricane also levelled some of their homes and shelters.

Using funds raised, volunteers help to rebuild the community of Petit Trou de Nippes after the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew

Fortunately, Kirsty and Mackenzy travelled back to Haiti this past fall and, through their fundraising efforts, have helped rebuild homes for many of the Petit Trou de Nippes residents. Their fundraising has also helped them to begin to recover many of their crops by planting tree farms and vegetation. Kirsty and Mackenzy have made an impact on many lives and have inspired several people, including me, to reach out and help those in need. I thought it would be a great idea for my school to raise funds for their cause.

Students Julia Gerry and Cadyn Dubuc during Hats on for Haiti at one of Agnew Johnston’s school-based fundraisers. Money raised during Agnew’s next pizza day will be dedicated to Haiti.

So far my school, Agnew H. Johnston, has held two fundraisers called Hats on for Haiti and will be having a third one this month. Our first fundraiser raised over $400 which was put towards building new roofs for residents’ homes. Our second fundraiser also raised hundreds of dollars, and we are hoping to get similar, if not better results for our third. Our school has been proud to support Haiti during this rough time by donating to Kirsty and Mackenzy’s venture.

Recently, they both came to our school to share their story and photos of how the money is being put to good use. Our school is hoping to inspire other schools to do similar things in order to help important causes. I encourage you to donate to Kirsty and Mackenzy’s fund to help Haiti and to make a difference in your community and the world.

For more information or to donate visit freefunder.com/campaign/Haiti-Hurricane-Relief