“My sandals just broke.”
“I have nothing nice to wear to church.”
“I don’t fit in my tennis shoes anymore.”
“The laundry ladies poured Clorox on my clothes.”
These are daily phrases around the orphanage multiplied by 60.
I know the fact that we run through clothes and shoes faster than a trash pile builds up on a Haitien street needs no explication. The CHCH is home to 60 kids who play, run, and live on dirt, rocks, and cement. Not to mention the fact that almost every pair of clothes and shoes they own was previously a hand-me-down, meaning it wasn’t in great condition when it arrived here. And then add the fact that everything is washed by hand- meaning that our clothes are socked in water, vigorously rubbed with an all-purpose soap called Fab (we wash our trucks with the same soap), beat violently with a wooden paddle, and the hung on a chain-link fence to then blow dry in the smoke-filled air beside our trash dump.
What I am trying to say here is that our clothes and shoes don’t last very long here at the CHCH.
So what do we do? How do we get by?
Sometimes, when a kid is in complete desperation of clothes or shoes we will give them money from their sponsorship account to purchase clothes downtown. Twenty-five dollars US can usually get them a couple pairs of jeans, a couple t-shirts, and maybe a pair of sandals. And then the kids wear those few things on rotation day in and down out until they grow a few inches and we are back to no clothes again. They even have to wear their daily clothes to church because we don’t have money to buy “church clothes” here in Haiti. And unfortunately, in a culture where image is surprisingly everything, our kids not having appropriate clothing at a church service has caused us some problems.
That said, we rely heavily on churches and individuals back in the States to send us clothes. Hunter and I get so excited when we find out a church is doing a clothing drive for our kids. The days we receive boxes of clothes and shoes in the mail are priceless because the things in those boxes are such a necessity- one that we sometimes can afford to provide the kids ourselves.
Anyway, I’m sure you get the point. WE NEED CLOTHES!
However, we don’t want you to just donate clothes for us to unpack out of boxes and distribute to our kids. This summer, we are trying something a little different.
June 08-10 we are going to set up a boutique here at the orphanage. Our goal is to transform both sections of the visitors’ dorms into a clothing/shoe/accessory store for our kids. But we don’t want our kids to simply come in the store and take what they want for free. No. We are going to make ‘em work for it!
As of today our kids have started earning tickets. These tickets are being earned 5 ways: 1) Coming to devotional with their Bible 2) Showing up to the truck in time for church 3) Cleaning up trash with the 4:00 whistle 4) Doing something helpful around the CHCH without being asked and 5) Good exam grades in school. And in June, when the boutique opens for one weekend, the kids will be able to redeem their tickets earned for wanted clothes, shoes, and accessories.
So why are we making our kids earn their much needed clothes this year?
Our purpose for opening the boutique is threefold:
1) We want to teach the children self-motivation and independence.
2) We want them to learn to work and earn their things rather than just always receiving them for free.
3) Honestly, we just think this will be fun!
And even though we just started giving tickets today, our kids are already excited. I’ve never seen so many of our kids so early on the truck than I did this morning. Even Gerome (our driver) was ready to leave 30 minutes early which is an improvement from the usually 20 minutes he is late on a typical Sunday morning. J
Ok, now here is where I am going to ask once again for your help. The only way this boutique is going to work is if we actually have things to sell in it. And the only way we are going to have things to sell in it is if you send it to us. Simple, right?
Below is specific list of what we need. So please take a look, clean out your closets, shop some sales, and send us your stuff. We need things in good condition, that kids and teenagers would like to wear (our kids our as picky as yours), and that will last. Have a clothing/shoe drive at your church or at your work. And then follow the shipping instructions at the end of the blog.
Here is what we need…
Jeans, shorts, dress pants, khakis, athletic shorts, t-shirts, Polos, dress shirts, vests, sports jackets, ties, undershirts, underwear, boxers, pajamas, light-weight hoodies, dress socks, athletic socks, belts, hats, wallets, swimming trunks, dress shoes, tennis shoes, sandals, flip flops
Church dresses, formal dresses, formal skirts, casual skirts, capris, dress shirts, casual shirts, bras, underwear, one piece bathing suits, light-weight hoodies, pajamas, belts, hats, purses, jewelry, dress shoes, sandals, flip flops
Please send all boxes to CHCH no later than May 11th to ensure that they will get here in time for the boutique. Mail all boxes to the following address and see http://caphaitienchildrenshome.org/Shipping_Information.html for shipping instructions.
Unit 1077- CHCH
3170 Airman’s Way
Ft. Pierce, FL
Thank you all in advance for your help. Please email me if you have any questions or want a copy of our CHCH Boutique Flyer emailed to you for your church or business.