Mattituck, NY - September 17, 2015 - The not-for-profit Kindest Hearts Foundation is holding a fundraiser luncheon Sunday, September 20 at Macari Vineyards to raise the funding needed to build a home for children in Haiti.
Founded in 2011 by a Wading River physician, the organization works to improve the lives of children and their families affected by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.
Dr. Patricia Nicholas, a podiatrist who was born in Haiti before moving to the United States at age 14, saw the medical need of the people while helping with rescue efforts in the weeks following the disaster. She found herself in the village of O’Rouck where many Haitians migrated to after the earthquake destroyed the nearby capital of Port-au-Prince, killing more than 200,000 people.
“There were long lines of 70 to 100 patients a day and the frustration of being unable to treat all of them stayed with me,” said Dr. Nicholas. Upon returning to the United States, she teamed up with different physicians and volunteers to create the Kindest Hearts Foundation.
Dr. Nicholas and Dr. Bellamy Brook, Medical Director at Peconic Landing in Greenport, are now working to build a home for children in need, many left without parents following the earthquake. The four-bedroom house would hold bunk beds in each room, and provide employment for a “house mom” to look out for their well-being. The two will be visiting O’Rouck in February to break ground on the home.
The organization is currently the largest private employer in the village, providing jobs for 33 people. Many of them help to run Kindest Hearts Academie, a school that feeds and educates more than 230 students each day. The school currently has space to teach students up to the ninth grade level.
“The goal is to expand the school a grade each year, allowing the children a high school education,” said Dr. Bellamy Brook. “The students scored the highest in the region on Haiti’s competency exam.”
The organization not only educates students but feeds them two meals a day. “For some of the children, the only meal they get is what they eat at our school,” said Dr. Nicholas. “Many of them are living in poverty, so this home will really help fill a need.”
Tickets for Saturday’s luncheon cost $75 per person, giving guests an opportunity to learn about the initiative while enjoying live music and food donated by Michelangelo's of the North Fork. The event is sponsored by Dr. Brook and his wife with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the home. Tickets can be purchased online by entering the ticket price and noting “luncheon” in the description tab. Macari Vineyards is located at 150 Bergen Ave in Mattituck.
For more information about the Kindest Hearts Foundation or to make a donation visit www.kindesthearts.org.
The Kindest Hearts Foundation believes that teaching the Haitian people to help themselves and providing them with the tools to do so will help them become self-sufficient. Kindest Hearts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.