The Spires of Faith Cluster is collecting monetary donations for a program that will provide food and support for a sister parish in Haiti as the island nation deals with ongoing poverty, drought and COVID-19.
Holy Cross Parish in Fond Verettes has been a sister parish to the Spires of Faith cluster since 1990. Local resident Cookie Scherrman, who has been to Haiti several times over the last 30 years, knows the need is great.
“These are unprecedented times for them,” Scherrman explained. “Everything is really expensive down there. They are also experiencing drought, so normal farming and getting things to market has been affected. People are sick with the virus and are worried about it. They don’t have the medical masks that they can wear and don’t have access to a lot of information about what is going on.”
Through Food for the Poor, Spires of Faith parishioners may donate to relief efforts. The donations will be matched by Nativity Catholic Church in Burke, Va.
“We belong to a program called Haiti Parish Twinning and became aware of the matching donation offer from Nativity parish,” Scherman said. “Thank God for people like that.”
Scherrman hopes to raise $4,000, which, with the match, will become $8,000 for Haiti.
In addition, Scherrman said Spires of Faith, in conjunction with St. Jude’s Parish in Cedar Rapids, has provided water buckets for Haitian families to access clean drinking water.
“We have sent money down for the water buckets. Through the Raising Haiti Foundation, we have added more water buckets as well as a water technician, who visits homes each month instructing families on how to stay healthy and safe.”
Scherrman said those wishing to donate may drop their donation in the Sunday collection in an envelope marked “Food for Haiti.” Checks should be made to Spires of Faith Haiti Fund. Funds may also be dropped off at the rectory or mailed to Xavier Basilica, 104 3rd Street SW, Dyersville 52040.
Scherrman would like donations within the next month. “Our people here are very good about donating. They trust us. They know if they give us $100 that it is all going to Haiti.”
She fondly recalls the people she has met on trips to Haiti. “There are good people down there who have become friends. Now with COVID-19, we aren’t sure when we will be able to go back. But it’s good to go because you can put a face on the person you are helping and they can see us too. It’s always a wonderful experience.”