Helping hands to the children of Haiti

Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore Rebecca Grady traveled to Haiti in July with her mother and two sisters to visit an orphanage through Operation Love the Children of Haiti. Kristen Davis ’17

Convent of the Sacred Heart sophomore Rebecca Grady packed puzzles, colored pencils, and hugs, into her suitcase when she visited an orphanage in Haiti this past summer with the nonprofit organization Operation Love the Children of Haiti.

Rebecca’s mother, Ms. Susan Grady, volunteers full time as the Community Development and Donor Relations on the Board of Directors for Operation Love the Children of Haiti. She took her three daughters to Haiti for a week in July to show them the conditions Haitian children face.

“It is impossible to understand what a third world is like, unless you go there. The reality of not having clean running water, bathrooms, showers, access to the Internet; all of the things that we truly take for granted are not at everyone’s disposal. The only way to understand that there is a lot of work to be done is to go and do it. I wanted to broaden the options of what they planned on doing for the rest of their life,” Ms. Grady said.

In Haiti, Rebecca and her family dedicated their time and hands to the needs of Haitian children that are cared for through the organization, Operation Love the Children of Haiti.

Operation Love the Children of Haiti (OLTCH) was founded in 2007, in the town of Léogâne, Haiti. Its mission is to care for mistreated and forgotten Haitian children. OLTCH currently provides housing, food, education, and medical needs for over 80 orphaned or abused children, according to

Rebecca was motivated to go on this service trip with members of her family because she wanted to positively impact the children in need.

“I wanted to be able to make a change and hoped to help the children there. There are 96 kids and not that many workers. They all just want to be held and have someone to love them and I was able to give them my full attention for a week and it did not seem like enough time or that I did enough at all,” Rebecca said.

In the mornings, Rebecca helped the children put together puzzles or color drawings. As the day progressed, she bonded with the children by participating activities like tag, soccer, basketball, frisbee, and making bracelets. At the end of the day, Rebecca and the children watched movies while the girls played with each other’s hair.

Rebecca shared her appreciation for her opportunity to serve the children who made such a permanent impression on her.

“I had only been in the orphanage for one minute and they were already fighting over who got to hold my hand and I truly realized how fortunate I am to have my parents. These kids don’t have one person to just love them completely and focus on them. All I wanted to do was be able to pay as much attention to as many of them as possible,” Rebecca said. “Seeing the hard lives they lead and how fortunate we are is very touching, especially because they are so happy and loving when they do not have much of anything. All they need is each other and they are happy.”

Rebecca plans to return to the orphanage in Haiti this summer, hoping to strengthen the relationships she made during her visit.