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#200: Hmmm... Re: #191: Players sacrifice for kids in Haiti: Kaufman comments

From: Joanne Kaufman <joanne_jake_@hotmail.com>

I am really touched by and appreciate the baseball players' willingness to 
share.  But please excuse me if I'm a little skeptical.

In 1996, I visited Mr. Theodore's project along with some MPP leaders who 
wanted our small Christian human rights organization to see what happens 
when the donors are out of town.

We first visited with Mr. Theodore in his mansion (and truly it was for a 
town like Ranquitte!) next to his very nice church building.  He told us 
about his children who were educated in the United States and are working as 
doctors and lawyers in Miami.  Then we went to the orphanage on the edge of 

Many of the children were out working for people outside of town.  A few 
were scattered around the orphanage grounds with no adult supervision.  We 
were shown the children's rooms -- beds were scattered willy-nilly around 
the cement rooms.  Some had no sheet, some had no mattress, some had no 
blanket, most had no pillow at all.  There were no closets, storage areas or 
anything else.

Our hosts told us that when the foreign donors come around, the children 
wear new clothes and have toys, etc.  When the donors disappear, the clothes 
and toys do too.  If I had my Haiti stories disk at hand, I would forward a 
story we wrote about this; unfortunately the public library wouldn't let me 
insert my disk in their hard drive anyway...

But -- given the kind of house and lifestyle that the good pastor was 
living, I wonder where the donations so generously offered to his children 
for his pet project are really going.  Anyone want to look into it?

Joanne "Jake" Kaufman
Christian Peacemaker Teams

From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Subject: #191:  Players sacrifice for kids in Haiti (fwd)
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 1999 08:35:12 -0700 (PDT)


Published Thursday, August 5, 1999, in the Miami Herald WEST KENDALL
Players sacrifice for kids in Haiti
  By TRACY THOMAS Herald Writer

  A 6-year-old ballplayer uses his own money to buy school supplies for
children who have none. A 5-year-old donates his prized championship
team uniform so another child will have one to wear. At Red Berry's
Baseball World in West Kendall, ballplayers of all ages have lined
  up to drop their coins into the big jug marked ``Haiti'' because they
want to help other children. For weeks, the players and their parents
have listened to Red Berry tell about an orphanage and schools near
Ranquitte, Haiti. Berry, who runs the baseball camp on Sunset Drive, had
heard about them from the parents of some of his ballplayers. The
orphanage was founded by Diomede Theodore of Ranquitte. He also
  established five schools. Theodore and his wife were involved in the
daily operation and financial support of the programs, giving their own
land for the buildings. Then last January, Theodore was in Kendall's
Baptist Hospital, very ill. His children and their families came to
Miami to be with him, and he shared his greatest concern: ``Who will
take care of my kids?'' Theodore's children promised him they would
continue his work with the kids left behind in the orphanage and
schools. They established a foundation to continue their father's work.
They provide most of the teachers' salaries and other financial
  support for the orphanage and schools, which are run on a shoestring
budget. The school in Ranquitte needs a roof. The floor is dirt, and
during rainy season, the children cannot keep dry. They do not have
shoes, and they have numerous skin problems. Most of the children look
much younger than their years because of malnutrition. When Berry
learned of this, he was immediately willing to help. Berry had made
  goodwill trips and led relief efforts in the past, having traveled as a
member of the coaching staff at the University of Miami to Nicaragua
after the earthquake. He also led groups from his Baseball World to
visits to the Bahamas and to the Dominican Republic. Players, parents
and friends from Baseball World helped raise $23,000 to put a roof on a
school, furnish it with desks and set up a school lunch program. Berry
and other volunteers conducted clinics there. Berry is planning an
initial survey trip to Ranquitte the first week of September. He
  is raising money to help with the school and the orphanage, as well as
collecting hygiene items and school supplies for the children. Each day,
baseball campers and their parents add their coins to the jug and bring
  in supplies to be packed in the boxes marked ``Haiti.''
  ``It's sad they have to live in those conditions,'' said Bryson
Sullivan, 13, ``and that they don't have parents.'' Berry's players
think the children in Haiti should have the opportunity to learn to
  play baseball. Said Luis Picard-Ami, 8: ``If they had a chance to learn
to play, maybe one of them would be like Mark McGwire.'' Countered his
twin brother, Alberto: ``No, like Ken Griffey.'' Or, Luis added, ``One
of them could be the next Babe Ruth.'' Berry has sent letters to 600
members of the Baseball World family, including friends and business
associates. Local businesses have donated sports equipment, and area
physicians and dentists have provided skin creams, toothbrushes,
toothpaste and other items. ``I just want to help kids,'' Berry said.
  Berry and one of his Baseball World coaches, Teo Campusano, will put on
  baseball clinics, as well as a physical education workshop for the
teachers. Campusano is from the Dominican Republic and played ball with
the Houston Astros organization. When he heard of the need in Haiti, he
says, ``I knew I had to go.'' Saintfort Paulin, the son-in-law of
Diomede Theodore, will lead the group that will determine what needs can
be met by future volunteers. Paulin's wife, Maude, a Miami-Dade County
schoolteacher, is going ahead to make arrangements. Meanwhile, kids at
Baseball World keep filling up boxes. ``I've had kids walk up to me and
give me their baseball gloves to take to Haiti,'' Berry said. ``Many,
many parents have come to me and just asked, `What do you need?' This
has gotten our kids thinking about other children who don't have what
  they have. They are thinking about what it is like not to have parents,
or to not have shoes to wear.''Said Luis Picard-Ami: ``We have so much
-- we want to share.''

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