Oregon Teen Helps Cross Catholic Build a Home in Haiti

Pierre Claudener & Family at their former house
Pierre Claudener & Family at their former house
Caroline is raising money so a poor family like this one can live in a safe and sturdy home.
Caroline is raising money so a poor family like this one can live in a safe and sturdy home.

Caroline Newman of Coquille, Oregon may be young, but her Christ-like actions are making a huge difference for a family in Haiti.

The 14-year-old Girl Scout was deeply impacted after a priest visited her local church. He told her congregation that though it’s been a year and a half since the earthquake, many Haitian families are still living in tent cities, without food, electricity, or clean water. That’s all the then-eighth grader needed to hear.

“I don’t think anyone should live like that,” Caroline told her local newspaper. “I care a lot about things that happen to people.”

She cared so much that she made it her mission to do whatever she could to help. The visiting priest put her in touch with Cross Catholic and she quickly learned that $5,000 can build a quake-resistant house with water and electricity. Better yet, if she could raise $2,500, another generous donor would match the rest.

So over the past few months Caroline has been working hard to provide a poor family with a safe, new home. To raise money, she has held a number of rummage sales at her church and is planning other fundraisers like a car wash and spaghetti dinner. At each function she distributes pamphlets about Haiti for adults and activity workbooks for kids.

As a former middle school teacher, I am always encouraged by the heartfelt acts of compassion performed by teenagers. What amazes me is Caroline didn’t think twice about responding to the desperate needs of others. She immediately answered the priest’s call to help hurting families in Haiti and was confident that God could use her to accomplish his great work. Her faithful response reminds me of 1 Timothy 4:12, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

Thank you Caroline! And thank you to all of the generous Catholics who have helped Cross Catholic build homes and restore hope to poor families in Haiti!

-Annie W.