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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hurricane decimates clinic in Haiti supported by local volunteers

Chantal, Haiti, after Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 storm, struck the island in late September.  
The clinic in Chantal, Haiti, supported by medical personnel and volunteers from Northern Virginia has been hard-hit by Hurricane Matthew and is in desperate need of funds to rebuild. 

The nonprofit group We Care To Share,Chantal is raising funds to restore the clinic and help residents of the Chantal village. It was formed as a medical relief team in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Since then it has completed 16 mission trips.

“The damage in Chantal is catastrophic, worse than after the earthquake by far,” reports Rev. Yves Luxon Francois of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Okeechobee, Fla.

The Chantal clinic before the hurricane.
“Ninety percent of homes are destroyed or seriously damaged. Ninety people are dead, and over 100 are still missing,” Father Yves says. “The nuns’ house is seriously damaged if not destroyed, the roof of the school is gone, the solar power towers and arrays are gone. The nuns have taken refuge in the dispensary.”

“Most people are in the streets because their houses were destroyed or the roof gone,” he says.

Sacred Heart and the Knights of Columbus in the Dioceses of Palm Beach sponsor We Care To Share Chantal, although the organization itself is nonsectarian and does not proselytize.

Father Yves and Falls Church resident Dr. Sarah John, a specialist in emergency medicine, are going to Haiti Oct.16 -21 to bring medicines to the clinic, assess the damage and needs, arrange for a new tin roof, and provide immediate help for the very poorest of the poor who do not have family to assist them.

The nuns run the dispensary, which is the only permanent medical clinic in the village, John says. “Their home was a lovely building with a wraparound veranda built over 100 years ago. It is uninhabitable now with a destroyed roof and second floor.”

Chantal children before the hurricane.
In asking for donations, Father Yves urges people to “think of the children, the elderly, pregnant women. Let's imagine ourselves in such a dire situation just for a while.”

Donations can be made online through a GoFundMe account called “Hurricane Help for Chantal, Haiti.”

Checks can also be sent to Rev. Yves Francois, Sacred Heart Church, 901 S.W. 6th St., Okeechobee, FL 34974. Checks should be payable to Sacred Heart Church with “Haiti/Chantal” in the note section. All donations are tax deductible and will go directly to those in need.

For more information, contact Sarah John, 703-400-3749 or or Rev. Francois, 561-704-9620 or


  1. How sad. At least this sounds like a worthwhile effort where all the contributions go directly where needed. Haiti & Dominican Republic could be gorgeous destination places like Jamaica or pre-Castro Cuba but due to politics or whatever seem to be permanent slums constantly devastated by natural disasters. Creating retirement/continuing care communities for less wealthy Americans might be one way to bring money & jobs. Baby boomers who don't have $5,000 and up a month to spend are going to need someplace to go. Why don't the big resorts go in? Corruption? Crime? Uneducated workforce?

  2. Thanks for highlighting the wonderful efforts of Catholic charities. They quietly do so much good throughout the world with little to no fanfare. A reminder of what is important--voluntarily helping others.