He stood there in his Sunday suit, his little suitcase with Spiderman on it and Mr. Monkey under his arm. And even though we felt like weeping for losing him, we also felt this wonderful relief that he will get his chance in this life. His illness made him privileged to leave, to have a surgery that will save his life, and finally, to have a life.
Mackenson, our little Mr. Serious, left to have a life. This beautiful nine-year old that looks like three-year old went yesterday to Miami where he will have surgery on his back with severe scoliosis, with 42 degrees of curve forming C letter on his tiny body. Thanks to Barbara Walker and Mrs. Jama who decided to reach out and provide Mackenson with this much needed surgery, our little Hunchback left last Sunday to the States.
We were all so privileged to have Mackenson in our lives, with his almost adult seriousness, preciseness, and loving order all around him. His silent politeness and understanding of things I learned only understood when much older than his nine years, is brilliant. The way he would unimposingly attach and stitch himself to our hearts was heartbreaking. Though we were not prepared for him to go, he was ready to leave and embrace the adventure called life. Thank you all who have reached out, and who have helped us support Mackenson. Through you, we have done our best to give him a childhood he otherwise wouldn’t have, and prepare him for life. Pray for his mother to keep strong and his little sister to get the same chance at a future as her big brother.
Share on Facebook
Dear Friends and Benefactors,
Today I write with a new request. I ask you to become active partners in our newest campaign. We need your help to spread the word, and to get your family and friends involved as well.
After weeks of careful planning, the Pottery Project has arrived! Sandra, Jane and Miranda have been working hard to plan the opening of a pottery studio and shop at the Children’s Center, which will help the orphanage become more financially self sustainable, and less reliant on fluctuations of private donations.
The children will be involved in decorating mugs, bowls, plates, vases, jewelry, etc. which will be sold in Haiti and throughout the United States! 100% of profits from the sales will be used to support the orphanage, so that the Children’s Center will be more financially sustainable and independent!
The promotional video and donation page are available here: The Pottery Project
In this all-or-nothing fundraising campaign, you can pledge any amount you wish, and you will receive a small gift of appreciation, such as a hand written thank you note from one of the children, or a hand crafted mug! Your pledge will not be charged, and we will not receive any money for the project UNLESS we hit our $8,000 goal by the end of the campaign on June 14th.
For this reason, we need everyone’s help. We ask you to donate, but we also ask you to spread the work amongst your family and friends. We cannot reach our goal without you. We will be working hard to get as many individuals involved as possible, but our staff and volunteers can only reach so many people. We need your help to extend our reach. Together we can make the pottery project a reality, and set the Children’s Center, and all of our children on the path toward a more prosperous future.
Thank you for your help, your prayers, and your support. God Bless!
Fr. Giordano Belanich
Croatian Relief Services, Inc.
Share on Facebook
May the joy of the Risen Lord fill your heart with Easter joy.
Thank you so much for all you have done for our Haitian Orphans in the past year. They have had a blessed lenten season because of the improvements we have been able to make at the Childrens’ Center. We were able drill a new well, which will deliver over 5,000 gallons of clean water throughout our facilities. We also installed a generator, which provides us with round the clock electricity, which is essential to life in a country as challenging as Haiti. While there are many improvements we hope to make in the coming months, such as repairing the leaking roofs, we feel blessed this Easter holiday.
We all pray for you!
Fr. Gio and our orphans!
Share on Facebook
This is Teresa Scanlan, Miss America 2011, writing to introduce Croatian Relief Services’ new fundraising campaign: The 100 Club.
Croatian Relief Services funds the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The mission currently cares for 47 children from 2 to 15 years old, which requires about $10,000 per month for the bare necessities and operating expenses. That is roughly $200 per child a month for food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical attention. This financial challenge is where the idea for the 100 Club began. If we can find 100 mission partners willing to commit to a donation of $100 a month, we could reach this goal and provide the mission with the funds needed to continue serving these children.
As I write, I remember holding my favorite 3 year old girl, Pierre Lynne. She’s at the orphanage because her mother passed away and her father abandoned her. Just three years old and she’s already known more pain and suffering than I have in my entire life. I’m reminded of James 1:27, which says, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
Wish to join the 100 Club? Here’s where to begin…
To sign up for the 100 Club, simply call our office [(201)745-1145] or email [email@example.com] with the following information:
- Your Name
- Mailing Address
- Email Address
- Method of payment: Check, Money Order, or Paypal?
- Would you like to receive a tax deductible receipt via postal mail or email?
- Additional names and addresses of partner contributors.
If $100 is too large of a commitment to make at this time, do not despair, you may still be able to joint he 100 Club! Within your community or family you can set up your 100 Club partnership by asking your neighbors, friends and co-workers to join you. They can do this by donating $10.00 each month. If 10 people join you with $10.00 each month you will be able to send $100 each month and become a part of Club 100. If you your friends can only contribute $5 a month, you will need 20 contributors each. All your donors will receive a certificate of donation each month for every donation.
For more details you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
Father Gio Belanich
Croatian Relief Services, Inc.
Apostolate of Mercy
P.O. Box 355
225 Anderson Avenue
Fairview, NJ 07022
Share on Facebook
Orphans Found a Home at the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Center.
Haiti was hit with a catastrophic earthquake on January 12, 2010. Several days after the quake, a Priest from the Croatian Catholic mission in Fairview NJ, USA. Fr. Giordano Belanich, arrived in Haiti.
Fr. Gio, a Preist from the Island of Ilovik, who currently resides in the USA, formed an organization called Croatian Relief Services during the war in Croatia. His mission was to help the people of his homeland. Towards the end of the conflict in Croatia, Fr. Gio redirected his attention toward Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The catastrophic earthquake prompted Croatian Relief Services to help the people of Haiti. Fr. Giordano found a parcel of land on which he established an orphanage, dedicated to the Blessed Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac. At this time, there are 47 orphaned and abandoned children living in the center. The majority of the children living in the center are between 3 and 8 years old. The youngest, Widson, will turn two in March 2012, and the oldest girl, Naelle, is 15. The center is being run by local women, with the help of two Croatian women and one American. The residents of the center welcomed Fr. Gio during his most recent trip in February 2012, with a song and a smile.
On Sunday, February 10, 2013, in a nearby church run by a Haitian Priest named Father Coupe, the residents of the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Center celebrated the feast of the Blessed Cardinal Stepinac. At that time, Fr. Belanich baptised little Widson. His God parents are Ivan Baric and Sanja Boban, Croatian who reached out to help this abandoned child. Widson was brought to the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Center by the religious sisters of Jesus and Mary in the city of Gros Morne. He was just 22 days old when he arrived. He had lost his mother in childbirth, and his father, who had other children, could not afford to care for him. When the sisters brough him to us, he was so tiny that he could fit in the palm of your hand, and his very existence was in jeopardy. Despite many obstacles, including tuberculosis and bronchitis, he managed to survive. He was baptised during mass in the presence of the Children, residents of the Children’s Center, and friends. The children were overjoyed that the youngest member of the group became a member of the church.
However, the situation in Haiti is continually deteriorating. The children suffer most of all, due to lack of food, medicine, and basic necessities. We know that our center is supported by many Croatians in our homeland, and we are grateful to them, from the bottom of our hearts. The motto of our center is: “let us save at least one child.”
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Giordano Belanich
Proslava Stepincevo po prvi put u povijesti Haitija
Siroce pronaslo dom kod kardinala Stepinca Nekoliko dana nakon katastrofalnog potresa koji je 12. January 2010 Godine pogodio Haiti, u glavni grad- Port-au-Prince, stigao je dusobriznik Hrvatske Katolicke Misije iz Fairviewa u New Jerseyu, Vel. Giordano Belanich.
Za vrijeme Domovinskog rata ovaj hrvatski svecenik porijeklom s otoka Ilovilka I s prebivalistem u Americi, osniva organizaciju pod nazivom Croatian Relief Services (CRS) s ciljem slanja pomoci u domovinu I regiju. Po zavrsetku Domovinskog rata pater Gio, kako ga zovu od milja, napore CRS-a usmjerava prema Haitiju, tada najsiromasnijoj zemlji zapadne hemisfere. Veliki i katastrofalni potres koji je u sijecnju 2010. Godine udario Haiti potaknuo je Croatian Relief Services na hitno djelovanje I pomoc zrtvama potresa.
Silom prilika vel. Giordano Belanich pronasao je zemljiste na kome je utemeljio sadasnje sirotiste I Djecji Centar posvecen Blazenom kardinalu Alojziju Stepincu u kojem trenutacno prebiva 47 napustene djece, kojim je vecina roditelja poginula tijekom potresa. Vecina djece koja zive u ovom centru su izmedju 3 i 8 godina. Najmladji Widson u ozujku ce napuniti dvije godine, a najstarija djevojcica Naelle- 15 godina. Sirotiste vode lokalne zene koje se brinu za djecu uz pomoc dviju Hrvatica iz Zagreba i jedne Amerikanke koje ondje zive. Sticenici centra Blazenog Alojzija Stepinca s osmijehom i pjesmom su docekali vlc. Belanicha koji je pohodio centar od 4. do 12. Veljace 2013. Godine. U nedjelju, 10. veljace u susjednoj crkvi proslavili smo Stepincevo svecanom svetom misom, na kojoj su djeca sirotista pjevala na engleskom i kreolskom jeziku. U misnoj koncelebraciji sudjelovao je mjesni svecenik pater Coupe, cije se sjemeniste nalazi uz nas Centar. Tom zgodom vlc. Belanich krstio je najmladjeg sticenika Centra, s kumovima Ivanom Barichem I Sanjom Boban. Widson je u nas centar dosao iz najsiromasnijeg planinskog dijela otoka, a clanom haicanske Stepinceve obitelji postao je u travnju 2011. Godine, u dobi od svega 22 dana. Nakon smrti majke pri porodu, I uz oca koji ima i stariju djecu I nije se mogao brinuti za njega, Widsona su casne sestre dovele k nama. Kad je djecak stigao, bio je toliko malen da je mogao pocivati na dlanu odraslog covjeka. Bio je pothranjen i bilo je upitno hoce li prezivjeti. No, usprkos mnogim bolestima koje je prosao I prezivio- preko tuberkuloze do upale pluca, postao je privatni mali heroj naseg Centra I danas je miljenik sve djece I osoblja. Krsten je svecanom sv. misom pracenom slavljem suradnika, zaposlenika, prijatelja i sticenika. Nadjenuto mu je krsno ime Widson Alojzije, prema kardinalu Alojziju Stepincu. Djeca su bila presretna sto je najmladji clan sirotista postao clan crkve.
Situacija na Haitiju je doslovce sve teza svakoga dana. Najvise od svih trpe djeca koja i dalje umiru od gladi, posvemasnje bijede, kao i izlijecivih bolesti- zbog nedostatka lijekova I elementarnih potreba. Velika je oskudica hrane, vode, lijekova i drugih neophodnih potrepstina. Haiti je nacija sirocadi, a malo je onih koji bi se mogli pobrinuti za njih. Svjesni smo da nas Centar pomazu Hrvati u Domovini I ovim putem im se od srca zahvaljujemo jer je vrlo upitno gdje bi polovica ove djece danas bila i bi li uopce bili zivi da se nismo za njih pobrinuli. Geslo ovog centra jest: spasimo barem jedno dijete, a Bog ce se preko srdaca dobrih ljudi pobrinuti za ostale.
Srdacno Vas brat po Kristu,
Velecasni Giordano Belanich
Share on Facebook
Most of you are familiar with Croatian Relief Services’ mission to help the poorest of the poor in our world. For over twenty years you have helped us fulfill this mission by shipping food, clothing, medical supplies, and so much more to dozens of countries in need across the globe. While we continue to provide these emergency humanitarian supplies to communities in need in the US, Croatia, Haiti, and beyond, our focus shifted when we opened the Cardinal Stepinac Children’s Center in 2010.
Today, we are responsible – day in and day out – for the needs of 47 orphaned and abandoned children. We have made a commitment to these children, and just as a parent must put the needs of their children before those of their own, so too much we put the needs of these children before all else.
We ask you to help us fulfill our commitment to these children by prioritizing their needs when you donate goods. Our children are in greatest need of food, clothing, medicine, and school supplies. These supplies are of utmost importance to their well being. In addition, we are working on plans to restore the facilities at the Children’s Center. The Children’s home is in poor condition, and is in need of many repairs. For that reason, we are also in need of construction and maintenance supplies.
We urge you to take a look at the detailed list of items below, and prioritize these items over non essential items such as furniture, appliances, dishware, irons, blenders, bookcases, lamps, pots, pans, and other household items, as we are well supplies in those areas and cannot afford to sort, store, and ship the amount that we receive. Thank you for all the years of consistent support and generosity.
- Children’s Chewable Vitamins (Non-Gummy)
- Other non perishable canned food items
- Boys & Girls Summer Clothes ages 1-15 (most common ages 3-8)
- Black Loafers & Loafer socks, for school uniforms
- Children’s belts, for school uniforms
- Twin and Toddler Sheets
- Shampoo & Conditioner
- Diapers (Toddler)
- Handwashing Laundry Soap
- Scrub Brushes
- Laundry Detergent
- Mosquito Spray
- Batteries, all kinds
- Children’s Tylenol
- Children’s Motrin
- Pediatric Electrolyte
- Band Aids
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Antiseptic wipes
- ACE Bandages
- Anti Fungal Cream
- Cortizone Cream
- Anti Bacterial Cream
- Pepto Bismol
- Latex Gloves
- Tums, Alka-Seltzer, etc.
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Pens – Black, Blue, Red
- Durable Backpacks
- Loose Leaf Paper
- Colored Pencils
- Construction Paper
Share on Facebook
- Sledge Hammers
- Construction Hats
- Work Gloves
- Rod Irons
- Paint, Brushes & Rollers
- Extension Cords
- Cordless Drills
- Nails & Screws
- Framing Wood
- PVC Piping
- Garden Tools – Hoes, Soil Turners, Scissors, etc.
- Garden Soil
- Vegetable Seeds
Do you know what a Third World Country is? That is a country in which an avocado is the size of your forearm, rich and smooth, and costs not even 50 cents. Having said that, here, 75% of the population cannot afford this treat. A third world country is a country in which a night stay at a hospital costs 2,70 USD, yet the sheet-less beds are empty. People are scattered all over the place while receiving IV’s, and when they are done they go home… or at least to the place where they can spend the night.
Share on Facebook
Merry Christmas ~ Jwaye Nowel ~ Sretan Bozic
Making the list, checking it twice… all gifts and cookies for our kids are wrapped, Santa is ready to visit our chimney. Widson is specially excited so he started with eating decorations.
Thank you all for your help and support to make this Christmas merrier and joyful.
May the splendor of this season remind you of Him who is worthy of all our praise and may the true spirit of this season find you and fill your heart with joy and happiness.
God bless you all
Merry Christmas from all 71 of us here in Haiti, and all our staff in New Jersey
Share on Facebook
OPEN YOUR HEART TO ONE ABANDONED CHILD THIS CHRISTMAS DAY!
The 2012 Shoebox Drive runs October 20th through December 15th.
You may not be able to help thousands of abandoned children in Haiti but I bet you can help just one by sending your shoe-box gift 2012. We are still collecting shoe-boxes for poor children in Haiti and you may be able to bless one child this Christmas with a shoe-box gift. More…
Share on Facebook