||Orphans at the Eben-Ezer Orphanage in Haiti love the Beanie Babies and other small toys given to them by visitors from Holy Mother of Consolation Parish in Oregon. Parishioner Ginny Owens is the one in red and Diane Kopp is in green. A group of Oregon-area residents is planning a mission trip for December of 2012. (Contributed photos)
OREGON — In January 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. News coverage scenes showed massive and widespread devastation.
It is estimated that 316,000 people died and 1,000,000 people were made homeless as a result of the earthquake.
Desire to open orphanage
Shortly after the earthquake, Holy Mother of Consolation Parish parishioner and nurse Ginny Owens, along with several other nurses, visited Haiti to see what they could do to help.
They were so overwhelmed by the destruction the earthquake had caused, and so moved with compassion by the homeless and abandoned children, that they returned to Wisconsin with a goal: to start an orphanage to provide for children that were living in tent communities without families or food.
They started fundraising and were soon able to secure a building along with associated supplies needed to provide the children a place to live, eat, and be safe.
Eben-Ezer Orphanage in Gonaives, Haiti, was opened. Currently there are about 20 children at the Eben-Ezer. This is the number the orphanage can adequately serve and care for within its financial ability.
Planning mission trip in December
Ryan McGuine, an active member of Holy Mother of Consolation Parish and a junior at Oregon High School, initiated the idea of a mission trip during Christmas break and was subsequently introduced to Ginny Owens, who responded enthusiastically.
In December 2012, a group of 20 Oregon-area residents will travel to Haiti for a week to help with construction and other projects at Eben-Ezer Orphanage.
There is much to be done: painting, yard work, and light construction work, such as installing doors to separate the boys from the girls. The large yard around the orphanage is not currently child-friendly. The area was never cleaned up after Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna, and Ike hit, all in the summer of 2008. The group would like to clean it up and build some play equipment.
The mission group is planning fundraisers to help cover both the cost of travel as well as supplies needed for the projects to be completed.
For additional information, contact Sr. Ruth Battaglia, CSA, at 608-835-5763 or
Donations may be sent to HMC Haiti Mission Trip, 651 N. Main St., Oregon, WI 53575.