Thanksgiving Message from Father Ken

Hello! After a year filled with prayer, friends, and good works, I am preparing to return to Haiti. In just a few days (midnight, November 23), I will be leaving for the Institut Montfort where I’ll be bringing a check for $25,000 to finish construction on the dormitory being built and spending my Thanksgiving with the amazing sisters, teachers and students at the Institut.

The Vineyard Grapes were generous in their bounty and helped to provide donations to finish the job that we started years ago reconstructing the Institut in Haiti. Immediately after the earthquake, I brought donations of money and supplies to Haiti and I fell in love with the country and its people, especially the Institut Montfort, a school and residence for the deaf and mute. This will be my fourteenth trip in seven years. With each trip we bring gifts of money and service and continue to help those affected by these horrible natural disasters on their trip back to normalcy.

The children at the Institut started off in emergency relief tents, but “The Farm,” as it is called, is slowly being transformed into a sturdy school and residence for the 200 child residents and 100 commuters.

The school, Education and Vocational Education Center, Refectory and Assembly Hall buildings are all now completed. The dormitories, the last structures to be built, are still under construction. While the foundations have been laid and there are plans for the dormitory building, additional funding was needed to finish the project. The children have been living in temporary housing funded through donations from the Vineyard and private donors for the past seven years. Some of the money we are bringing will be used to purchase beds, linens and chests of drawers for each child. For many of them, this will be the first time in years that they will have a bed they can call their own.

There have also been some very generous large gifts, $2,500, $3,000 and $5,000. These donations, along with some of the funds raised as my wonderful 30th Anniversary party, will allow me to present a check of $25,000 to the Daughters of Wisdom for construction of the dormitory at Institut Montfort.

During this time of giving thanks, I wanted to reach out to you, the Vineyard, for your amazing support over the years. Not only have you been supportive of me and my projects, but you’ve been generous to those in need due to poverty, natural disaster, famine and war. I will be surrounding myself this Thanksgiving with amazing, heroic, and impressive children at the Institut Montfort, and thanks to you, I will have the chance to bring some of these kids a gift that they have not had in years, if ever before in their lives: a home with a bed to sleep in.

I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones, friends and family. Thank you for your support.

Father Ken