It is always a joy for us to share success stories with our supporters, to show how your kind hearts and generosity have truly made a difference in the life of a child. Today is one of those joyful days as we share an update on LuYuan. You've watched him grow up: from an infant born with spina bifida, through his surgery and recovery in China, all the way to his adoption. You've given of yourself so he can have a better life. He is now part of a large family, with 6 siblings, one of whom is from his orphanage in China. Now that our work with LuYuan is complete, we thank you for your continued support of these little ones: Baby JH, Baby DXX and Baby WZX.
With every day that passes, we are one step closer to funding another full container of All Terrain Wheelchairs (ATWs). Week by week, the details begin to fall into place; important details like finding an in-country storage space as well as executing upgrades for the next shipment.
We are pleased to announce that St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) has once again agreed to serve as our storage and distribution point for the next container. Safely storing and securing 100 – 120 wheelchairs in the heart of Port-au-Prince is no small task and we are very appreciative of our partners at St. Vincent’s for their cooperation. They truly understand the importance of these chairs and getting them into the hands of people with disabilities in their country.
As for the wheelchairs themselves, we are constantly improving their structure and functionality based on the input of current ATW recipients. Working directly with the manufacturer, two of the biggest improvements for the next shipment will be airless tires and sealable pockets to secure personal items.
Airless tires are the biggest upgrade on the new chairs. The intense Haitian heat often makes the interior rubber tubes brittle, causing cracks and leaks. This type of tire will eliminate flat tubes, improving the durability of the tires themselves, while also eliminating the need for pumps or tire patches.
With your support, we will be able to fill that shipping container and bring the gift of mobility to Haiti again. Thank you!
It was such a joy to visit St. Vincent’s last week during our trip to Haiti. As soon as the kids saw us on campus, we savored hug after hug, kiss after kiss, and greetings in sign, Kreyol, English and French. After more than 2 years of work at St. Vincent’s, we can’t begin to express how wonderful it is that we now know these children so well that all of our faces light up when we see one another. We wouldn’t exchange those moments for the world!
Students donned new (to us) school uniforms, the latest school trend in hair braids and proudly showed off their new digital hearing aids! Thanks to our partnership with Team Canada Healing Hands, many more students are reaping the benefits of better hearing.
To date, The Red Thread Promise has purchased $21,000 worth of brand new digital hearing aids for hearing impaired students at St. Vincent’s. Team Canada purchases the aids at a deep discount and brings teams of audiologists to Haiti to test the children. Much like testing for glasses prescriptions, these specialized tests—performed in a sound-proof booth—help audiologists determine the exact type of hearing loss (i.e. high pitch vs. low pitch) for each individual child.
Following testing, if it has been determined that hearing aids will help the child, molds are made of their ear(s) for a custom fit. St. Vincent’s staff is working directly with the audiologists to learn the process of mold making, practicing every step of the way under the tutelege of Team Canada’s professionals. After the molds have set, the hearing aids are programmed specifically for each child’s individual hearing loss. The aids wrap around the ear and are fed through the mold directly into the ear.
In the past, the children have received analog aids, which act simply as a volume amplifier, increasing all sounds like a remote control on a TV. Digital hearing aids will better serve the children’s individual needs. Each is customized to amplify only what needs to be amplified, maximizing the benefit of the hearing aid for each child. And, if treated with care, they should last 6 or more years!
Our goal is to ensure that EVERY hearing impaired student at St. Vincent’s receives aids as necessary. With new students coming through their gates on a regular basis, the need continues. Your support helps us realize this dream and for this we thank you!