De Soto Youth Ministries collecting money for Haiti
The De Soto Youth Ministries’ planned trip to earthquake ravaged Haiti was cancelled earlier this year.
The group planned a program-oriented trip to the country last year. After the Jan. 12 earthquake the group switched its focus to a work-related project, helping with cleanup.
However, recently American Airlines notified the group its flight had been canceled to make room for medical personnel and family members of Haitian residents, said Donna Wilting, a leader with DYM.
Wilting said the change in plans was understood by all the DYM members.
"We totally understand the changes," she said. "The group has already raised money for the trip so we felt like we wanted to do more for the people of Haiti."
And so the group teamed up with Mission of Hope-Haiti, an organization focused on rebuilding Haiti.
On Saturday, DYM had a garage sale at the Crossing Youth Center, 33180 W 83rd Street. All proceeds will go directly to Mission of Hope-Haiti.
Bill Wilting, a leader at DYM, said the group raised nearly $2,000 for Mission of Hope-Haiti, by selling gently used items.
Combined with the funds intended for travel to Haiti, Bill expects the group can donate close to $10,000 to the organization.
“The kids are going to be working over spring break, helping in the neighborhood. We're hoping the last day of spring break we'll be able to get all the kids in the car and go to Mission of Hope-Haiti to donate about $10,000," he said.
Donna Wilting said while the pre-planned trip wasn't able to take place, the group was still excited to help Haiti in some way.
"Bill (DYM leader) said that maybe they (Haitians) needed our funds more than our helping hands," she said.
The group hopes to travel to Haiti next year.
"We kind of figured that right now the doors have been closed to get to Haiti, but we feel like right now they need our money more than our bodies," Bill said. "And it's always when you want to donate money to something it's hard to know who to trust. I've heard reports of money disappearing into thin air that was meant to go to Haiti. It makes us feel wonderful to give to an organization that we are knowledgeable about and has been on the group in Haiti doing great work for some time.
“We feel really good about supporting Mission of Hope-Haiti and hopefully we’ll get down to Haiti next spring. But for now even though the mission was scrubbed we are donating money and pressing on to our summer trip to Nicaragua.”