The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Associates, employees and friends in Pittsburgh are helping to raise money to build a house for a family in Belize. The house, the 150th house in the Hand in Hand Building for Change program, will be built this month. According to a recent news report about a Country Poverty Assessment conducted in Belize, over 50,000 Belizeans have plunged into poverty in the last seven years, between the last country assessment done in 2002 and the most recent study done in 2009.  The assessment further notes that 43 percent of the Belizean population (or 142,000) are classified as poor.  The building of this house by SCN family members will create a safe and nurturing environment for a family.
Luke Boiarski, SCN, has been overwhelmed by the support she has received from the Sisters at St. Louise convent.   When she was first approached by Hand in Hand Ministries about partnering to build a special house – the 150th – she wasn’t sure just how things would come together to make the house a reality.   But one thing led to another and when she met with Sisters at St. Louise convent in October of last year to share some of her experiences as director of the Lay Mission Volunteer Program, one of the Sisters asked just how those living at St. Louise Convent might help a family.  Rose Riley, SCN, suggested that perhaps the Sisters could help raise money to build the 150th Hand in Hand house in Belize and from there, the project quickly took off. Together the Sisters wrote a letter asking family and friends to donate money to the project and each Sister signed the letter.  They also created posters and placed them around the convent to track donations.  With each donation, the Sisters became more and more excited and just this week Sister Luke received a check for $7,200 from the SCN family in Pittsburgh.  To build a basic house and to add electricity and plumbing, the average cost is $6,800.
The final piece of fundraising taking place in Pittsburgh is for a scholarship to send a volunteer from among the employees at St. Louise Convent to help build the house. Dan Horan, plant manager, has been chosen and is looking forward to this life changing experience.  He will be travelling to Belize later this month, January 17-25, to help build the house.  Dan will join ten other volunteers including Sister Charlotte Gambol’s family members Margaret Bash and Donna Gambol.  Follow the volunteers on the SCN family Web site and on Facebook and Twitter as they travel to Belize and break ground.  Also, stay tuned as members of the SCN family at St. Louise choose a name for the house.  A decision on the name will be made in the next few days.
See video of the Sisters at the following link: http://www.vimeo.com/18437991.

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