Nutritious meals for 200 disabled Haitian children

Apr 20, 2012

Camp Jake is around the corner!

Miele & Kelly at Camp Jake
Miele & Kelly at Camp Jake

We are excited to share that both planning and fundraising are in full swing for our 2nd Camp Jake in July of 2012. Camp Jake is a week-long event for disabled children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

As we shared in our last Global Giving report, the January session was life-changing for both participants and volunteer counselors. During the upcoming camp, we plan to capitalize on the strengths of the first session while introducing new programming for returning campers.

Between 30 - 40 special needs children and youth will leave the congested, dusty capital city and go to the coast where they will enjoy the fresh air and ample space to move about. Twelve to fifteen counselors will provide a week of new experiences, relationship-building opportunities, personal hygeine lessons and art therapy.

Swimming, dancing, beach ball games, basketball, frisbee and other sports will keep the kids active, develop gross motor skills and provide opportunities for team-building. Card and board games, fine art and craft projects, music and movies provide avenues for fine motor skill development, social interaction and entertainment. Children will experience simple amenities that aren't common in most Haitian homes, such as a comfortable bed, a warm shower and working toilet. Campers will enjoy three nutritious meals a day during which they have food and drink choices, a rare occasion for those living in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. 

For $975, one camper can experience this life-changing week filled with opportunities for personal growth, skill-building, and transformation of disability into ability. But most of all, for one week, children get to live free from stares, jeers, criticisms and the social stigma surrounding people with handicaps in Haiti. For seven luxurious days, they are free: free to learn, to grow and to be themselves.

Give a child hope by supporting Camp Jake today. Any size gift—from $10 to $10,000—is appreciated. Your support allows us to include more campers and improve our programming. 

We encourage you to follow our blog for the most up-to-date information about Camp Jake as it draws nearer:

Jan 23, 2012

Camp Jake, January 2012

Yolene in the ocean and loving every moment!
Yolene in the ocean and loving every moment!

From health education, to personal hygiene, to ample food and fresh water, to medication, to good mental health, to doctor's visits and surgery, The Red Thread Promise considers a child's entire being when we think of medical care. As a result of this wholistic approach to health care, we are proud to share our success with Camp Jake, the first camp for handicapped children in Haiti.

In January 2012, we took 33 special needs campers from St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in the heart of Port-au-Prince to a beautiful location near Montrious, nearly 2 hours outside the city. The beautiful environment on the coast was invigorating to the excited participants, some having never left the city during their lifetime until then.

Many activities and programs were planned for the children throughout the week to encourage well-being and good health, including:

  • Various sports, including basketball, soccer, Frisbee golf and swimming encouraged physical activity and helped develop gross motor skills even to those who are wheelchair-bound. We even offered physical outlets for the blind with walks along the beach, swimming, and playing with a 60" inflatable ball!
  • Personal hygiene lessons were given along with large bags of products for each student to keep. From brushing their teeth, to proper and frequent hand-washing, to use of deodorant and mouthwash, campers learned many techniques to stay healthy and clean.
  • Art programs facilitated by an art therapist helped campers hone fine motor skills and gave each the opportunity to express themselves in a creative environment.
  • Moving about the large facility offered additional opportunities for exercise, running and playing, little comforts that are next to impossible in their daily environment in Port-au-Prince.
  • Ample healthy food choices were available as well as fresh water and fresh-squeezed juices to boost the children's immune systems.

We discovered that children we previously thought could not talk or communicate were able to do so, even if only on a limited basis. Those we knew as needing help eating tried to feed themselves. Everyone stepped out of their comfort zone to try something new. Campers shared their hopes and dreams with the counselors and, through their input, are helping us to the mold the next Camp Jake that will be held in July 2012.

In July, we will build on the personal hygiene education began in January, checking on their teeth brushing skills, observing if they remember to wash their hands, etc. We will also offer additional opportunities for living healthier lifestyles even within the confines of their everyday environment and begin offering career skill-building activities to help students become independent adults.

As always, we thank our Global Giving donors for blessing us with this opportunity to work with these exceptional children, providing them with love, healthcare and HOPE.

Blind campers playing with the huge ball
Blind campers playing with the huge ball
Learning how to use personal hygiene products
Learning how to use personal hygiene products
Salsa dance lessons
Salsa dance lessons


Oct 19, 2011

New opportunity for Haitian children with disabilities

St. Vincent
St. Vincent's students

We are very excited to announce our newest program to serve children with disabilities in Haiti!

CAMP JAKE RICHARD will be our first camp for students at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince. It will be held during the first week of January 2012 at Kaliko Beach. For the precious orphans of St. Vincent’s, Camp Jake will turn a long, winter break with no family, no school, and no respite from cultural ridicule into cherished memories. 
Camp Jake is specifically designed for the children with disabilities. The camp will be held for two sessions each year, one in the winter and one in the summer. The children of St. Vincent’s will travel just 1.5 hours north by bus to reach the camp that is worlds away from their everyday lives in the dusty city. There they will be greeted by a volunteer staff of counselors with varying backgrounds, chosen for their ability to provide both a fresh and cohesive camp experience. Throughout the duration of the camp, each participant will receive a physical from qualified medical professionals.
Camp Jake is designed to remove physical and emotional barriers, giving the children an opportunity to engage in: 

Creative arts, such as sculpting, painting, music, sewing, and jewelry making, which will be both fun and therapeutic. These activities will also teach valuable skills that may enable career opportunities later in life. 

Physical outlets including sports, aquatics, dancing, and even a special Olympics designed to develop their self confidence.

Social activities including cooking, dancing, storytelling, and cultural exchanges between the children and the counselors.

Campers will be encouraged to wholly express themselves physically and emotionally. They will have the opportunity to explore life in ways that will broaden their horizons, creating life-long memories. 

Jake Richard is a vibrant teenager with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and progressive disease that involves rapidly worsening muscle weakness. His life expectancy is in his mid teens. 
Jake's wish has always been to make a difference in the lives of other people who may have lost hope due to a disability. He has taken his wish to heart by working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a Goodwill Ambassador, attending fundraisers and media events, and being featured on the national MDA Telethon.
He and his mother began running together in 2009 and have accomplished 5k, 10k and half marathons together, evoking the spirit of their motto “Always look on the bright side of life.” Jake sits in a custom made push chair in his favorite color, orange. They created Team Jacob to inspire others with hope and courage no matter what obstacles you are facing. The team's favorite quote is "Always look on the bright side of life" and that's exactly what they do when they run and now through the creation of Camp Jake.
The Red Thread Promise is honored to name Camp Jake after this exceptional young man.
St. Vincent
St. Vincent's students
Jake Richard and his mother
Jake Richard and his mother
Jake with Tom, Camp director
Jake with Tom, Camp director
The camp location
The camp location


Jul 19, 2011

St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children

Teaching workers how to use the truing stand
Teaching workers how to use the truing stand


Whenever possible, team members from The Red Thread Promise try to give the supplies our organization donates directly to those who will be using them as it is such a joy to see their reactions. On Wednesday, June 4th, 2011, we had that opportunity in Port-au-Prince, Haiti!
Eight team members unpacked the box of materials for the blind school at St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children in the presence of several sight-impaired teachers and students. To see the teacher’s face light up when he realized that not only did we bring the math materials he needed, but that we provided all 25 sets as requested, warmed our hearts. He was so grateful that he immediately stood up, shook Kathy’s hand and thanked us. He shared that it was his dream for each student to have this important learning material and that we had made that dream come true. He was so happy that we even received an impromptu demonstration.

Some weeks before our trip, we received word that the clubfoot clinic was in need of a baby scale to weigh the tiny patients. A Montessori elementary school in Columbus, Ohio held a read-a-thon where students accepted pledges from friends and family for every page they read one special day at school. The class exceeded their own needs for the fundraiser and named The Red Thread Promise as one of its’ beneficiaries for the overage. A group of twenty-six 4th, 5th and 6th graders donated the funds to purchase the baby scale as well as a truing stand (for use in keeping wheelchair wheels straight and round). Our youngest supporters never cease to amaze us with their compassion!
Various pharmaceuticals, personal items (including soap, hand sanitizer, toothbrushes, toothpaste) as well as a new printer and computer for the blind school were donated by an Episcopal church in Seattle, Washington. Two of the church’s deacons even traveled with us to deliver everything by hand, tour St. Vincent's and interact with the children.
We were also able to order and hand-carry in some additional materials for the blind school that could not be purchased in Haiti, including such basic items as dual tape recorders.
On June 29th, a second team was able to deliver cases of crutches, canes, three specialty wheelchairs, a truing stand and other critical medical supplies to St. Vincent's. It is such a blessing to fill their storage areas with these items, knowing that they are being used and appreciated.
While these supplies may not be fancy or glamorous, they mean the world to students and educators merely 1.5 hours from Florida, on the small island of Hispanola, in the country of Haiti, in the city of Port-au-Prince, at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children. We are honored to help in any way we can and can continue to do so thanks to your support.
A math lesson with supplies for the blind
A math lesson with supplies for the blind
Unpacking materials for the blind school
Unpacking materials for the blind school


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Project Leader

Kathy Korge Albergate

Glen Rock, NJ United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Nutritious meals for 200 disabled Haitian children