We just received confirmation that Father Ken Deasy will again be spending his Thanksgiving in Haiti this year. He is very excited at the opportunity to return to Haiti, especially since this upcoming trip almost didn’t happen.
Father Ken was bitten by a dog recently on the morning after his 30th Anniversary Party and has been out of commission for the last few weeks. But thanks to 30 stitches and a tetanus shot, he has bounced back strong and is ready to get back out into the world.
With that in mind, he has decided to return to Haiti as his next trip. As you know, Haiti was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2010, from which it has never fully recovered. The earthquake knocked out most of the infrastructure on the island, and subsequent hurricanes (including the devastating Hurricane Matthew in 2016) as well as a lack of outside support in the recent years has led to a slow, prolonged recovery period for the country.
Immediately after the earthquake, Ken brought donations of money and supplies to Haiti from the school children and parishes in Los Angeles when he worked as Director of the Holy Childhood Society. He fell in love with the country and its people on this initial soul-wrenching trip, but was drawn especially to the Institut Montfort, a school and residence for the deaf and mute. The original school and residence buildings were destroyed in 2010, but Ken has helped to raise donations for a new facility where construction has been underway for the last few years. This will be his fourteenth trip in seven years. Two years ago, local supporters Lynn and Chris Knox accompanied Fr. Ken, and can testify to his unique and touching interaction with all the children and staff. “The kids follow him around like the Pied Piper,” says Lynn.
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, all of whom are either deaf or mute or both.
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 a new building is being planned, additional funding is 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. $20,000 more is needed to purchase beds, linens and chests of drawers for each child. That is about $100 per child, and Father Ken wanted to put out the ask to you, our amazing supporters, to sponsor a child or two at the Institut and contribute $100 or more so that these amazing students can sleep on a real bed in real sheets. For many of them, this will be the first time in years that they will have a bed they can call their own. You can make a donation on our website here or mail a check to:
Father Ken’s Vineyard, Inc.
PO Box 1339
Santa Clara, CA 95052
Father Ken leaves for Haiti on the 22nd of November and hopes to take with him donations to finish this project and bring relief to the incredible children who live at the Institut Montfort. Father Ken will also use some of the funds raised at his 30th Anniversary Event to supplement the amounts given here. He promised he’ll take many pictures and that he will pass on your love along with your support.
We give thanks to you, our donors, for your generous support of Father Ken and his ministries, and we give thanks to God for helping Ken recover and get back on his feet so that he can get out into the world and do good work.