Deck the Halls While Helping Haiti

November 9, 2018

Mary Jo Doege is selling metal ornaments crafted by Haitian artisans out of oil barrels to help raise money for a family missionary trip to Haiti. COURTESY OF Mary Jo Doege Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

LUNENBURG -- Metal ornaments crafted in Haiti that Mary Jo Doege has for sale are more than just decorations for the holiday season.

Half of the money will go back to the artists and the rest will go toward supplies for her and her family to build a home in Haiti during a spring mission trip.

“It’s a win-win for Haiti,” Doege said.

The ornaments, which are $12, are made of steel oil barrels that have been flattened and cut into shapes like hearts, Christmas Trees, and crosses. She also has ones made from recycled cereal boxes and wrapping paper in the shape of stars.

Doege received the ornaments from the Apparent Project, a nonprofit whose mission is to help Haitian parents and children. The organization sells items by Haitian artisans, providing them with a wage and employment.

As of Thursday, she had about 40 ornaments from the 150 she started with.

The goal is to raise $3,000 by March 1. So far, she and her family have raised $900.

Doege, her husband, and two sons will go on a mission trip to Haiti in April to build a home for an 8-year-old named David who she sponsored during a previous mission trip to Haiti.

They are working with another organization, Tree of Hope Haiti, that focuses on water and home building projects and child sponsorship.

The organization will provide the materials and assist with building the house, which will be a one-room home with a concrete floor, Doege said.

During a mission trip last year, she saw David’s living situation, which is a house that is the size of a small dining room with a dirt floor and a leaky roof.

He lives there with an older sister who is about 16, Doege said. His parents live in the mountains and come to visit.

Doege sponsored David through Tree of Hope Haiti last year. The sponsorship was to help him attend school and receive an extra meal. Often, many children in Haiti only eat one meal a day, Doege said.

“It is to give them a chance to break the cycle of poverty,” she said.

It’s important to do something for others, Doege said, and the mission trip is way to do that.

“This is something with a direct impact and I have the opportunity to show my children how fortunate they are in the U.S.,” she said. “I’m excited to share the experience with my family.”

To contact Doege or to order an ornament, email her at doegefamilymissions@gmail.com .

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