My name is Penny Grunder, and I am a former Early Childhood Special Education Teacher from Beloit, WI. I am also a wife, mother, and grandmother who has been traveling to Haiti for the past 19 years. After the earthquake in 2008, I have felt called to make a small difference in the lives of children in Haiti. My husband, Tom and I have developed a multi-step plan to ensure this dream becomes a reality.
We have secured our not-for-profit status, 501(c)3, for Mercy House Inc. Six acres in Mattieu, Haiti and three acres in Marachal, Haiti have been secured. We are recognized as an approved organization in Haiti, and have drilled a well on our property in Matthieu, which provides clean water to approximately 400 families. Beloit Rotary Club partnered with Mercy House to complete this project. Prior to this well, 25% of children ages birth - five, died due to water borne illnesses.
Currently, we care for 19 children ages 8 months to 20 years. Four of our children are true orphans, three of the children have special needs and are cared for at the Respire compound, and twelve are restevek (child trafficked) children who have been rescued. Three children have been adopted by a Haitian family. Mercy House children are cared for in a foster home situation.
A fence project begins on November 28, 2018 and we hope to begin laying the foundation for the first home in December, 2018.
Future projects include: complete the home, dig a well in Marachal to be shared with the community, build a cooking station for meal preparation, Plant gardens and trees for food and shade, build enclosures for chickens and goats, and complete a tilapia farm. Gardens, trees, livestock, and the tilapia farm will help to ensure sustainability for Mercy House.
We are blessed with support from Daystar Christian Fellowship, South Beloit, Illinois and Church of Christ Church, Austin Minnesota. Many clubs and community groups have been very generous with fundraising. The International Club from Craig High School in Janesville, WI hold a water walk each year. These funds are used to dig wells and repair wells built post earthquake. The Sunshine Soul Festival is held in Middleton, WI each September. Mark and Andria do an amazing job! Mercy House uses proceeds to care for children and pay for the education of school-aged children. Many individuals have provided funding for our children.
Mercy House would love to have your help with building! If you would like to bring a team to Haiti, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 608 289-5822.
We thank all of our contributors and are grateful for your support!