Meet Temple Project Haiti, the new student organization aiming to help a Haitian orphanage

Come support the children of Saint Francis Xavier Orphanage at their biggest event in April

Once again, we have the honor of covering a few Temple Owls doing some pretty incredible things. With the hundreds of organizations around campus, there’s a good chance you probably don’t know too much about them, but trust us, you’re going to want to.

Temple Project Haiti is a student run organization created to raise funds and awareness for Saint Francis Xavier Orphanage in Artibonite, Haiti. A small group of roughly fifteen Temple students are dedicated to raising funds to support the Haitian orphanage.

The organization was formed in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. With nearly 200,000 people killed, countless children were left without parents.

This year, the organization’s biggest event will take place on First Friday, April 7th. Temple Project Haiti collects art from Temple students, relatives, friends, high schools, or from anyone willing to donate. They then hold an art auction at East End Salon, a nail salon located in Old City who graciously lend their venue to our Owls for the evening, and auction off fantastic pieces to meet their goal of $1500 for SFX.

The funds this year will be going towards buying six bunk beds, twelve mattresses, all new sheets, new towels, soccer goals and nets for the eighteen children in the orphanage. Additionally, they plan to supply SFX with funds to build a garden in order to teach the kids to grow and cultivate their own food and use those skills to someday be employed in the work force.

A few dedicated members have individually gone down to visit the orphanage to see how their hard work is paying off. President of Temple Project Haiti Andy Seraphin, a senior kinesiology major,  shared his experiences on his two trips to Haiti in 2015 and 2016.

“As a Haitian American, I didn’t feel like an outsider. The one thing that really stuck out to me was that I really felt at home. It wasn’t just a trip for me. When I was leaving, it wasn’t me saying goodbye. I knew 100% that I would be going back.

Lauren Butler, a sophomore environmental studies major, also had the pleasure of journeying to Haiti outside of the organization for her first mission trip.

“It’s cliché to say that it’s life changing, but that’s what it is. The kids were some of the sweetest, funniest, most intelligent kids I have ever met in my life. There’s a different culture down there that takes a little bit to understand, and then you appreciate it so much more on the last day when you realize that everyone who is taking care of you and who you are working with is like family.”

While they were down there, they helped around the orphanage, bonded with the children, helped with a latrine project for the community, and experienced the culture while still helping the community.

“I wanted to get involved in an organization that had a goal of making a specific impact. I knew as a member and as an organization we would be making a tangible difference, something more than just awareness or a conversation,” says Andy.

The event will also display art work directly from the children in SFX. This year, Temple Project Haiti plans to create an advanced ticket program where if you choose to send a donation in advance, one of the incentives you can receive is the artwork from the kids.

“It’s a gathering of people who genuinely want to make a difference, just a bunch of good-hearted people providing great energy.”

What else do you have to do on April 7th at 6pm? Make your way down to 219 Arch Street in Philadelphia, buy some awesome art work, and support Temple Project Haiti and the kids of SFX Orphanage.

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