Proceeds from art classes to benefit Hearts Out to Haiti
By Meagan McGone
SATELLITE BEACH - For the past 13 years, a local mission group has been hard at work providing education, support and spirit to three impoverished, rural mountain communities in Haiti.
Since its creation in 1999, Hearts Out to Haiti, a mission organized and run by Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Community in Indialantic, has constructed multiple learning centers and employed hundreds of teachers to better the life and education of students in the areas of Les Palmes, Morne-A Chandelle and Durissy.
Now, the mission group will help bridge the gap between Haiti and home by offering a "Pizza & Crafts" series of classes at the David R. Schechter Community Center in Satellite Beach. Local volunteers who have been to Haiti will teach participants about Haitian art and help those attending learn Creole phrases to create a Haitian art project.
"Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, but they are very rich in culture and creativity," said Jill Nelson, youth program instructor for the Satellite Beach Recreation Department. "The classes are a fundraiser for the mission. It is a way to get support from the community while giving parents the opportunity to drop off the kids and have some time to go get dinner or a movie, or the whole family can stay and have some family fun while benefiting Haiti."
The three-hour class will be offered from 5 to 8 p.m. on one Saturday every month: on Sept. 8, Oct. 13 and Nov. 10. The class costs $8 per person each day and is open to anyone aged 4 and older, as well as families. Pizza and drinks will be served.
"Every dollar goes to Haiti, and any contribution by anyone makes a difference," Ms. Nelson said. "Our organization relies heavily on the goodness of the community around us."
Ms. Nelson said that in addition to offering aid to Haiti, participants will be able to purchase Haitian crafts and learn a new take on the country.
"The classes are very educational, participants will learn about Haitian culture and art, and they will hear from some missionaries who have been there," she said. "The classes will benefit those in Haiti, but this provides a unique family time or childcare service."
For more information, visit www.hnj.org/haiti-home or call (321) 773-2783.