Streethearts’ Latest News

Feb
28

Voices from our Volunteers- Kate Carbone

My Streethearts Family,

This past Christmas I had the opportunity to volunteer with Streethearts for about 3 weeks. My first experience with them was the summer of 2016 when I took a tour of the safehouse, and Linsey explained her work that she was doing there. I immediately fell in love the kids and definitely knew I wanted to come back and help out. So, Linsey and I started talking and everything worked out for me to come back this past winter.

Words cannot describe how excited and grateful I was for this opportunity. I planned on doing basketball clinics and arts and crafts with the kids.

Just saying, Robens was the best moto driver ever. Even though I did not know any Creole and couldn’t communicate with him, we had a fun time for sure. It took me a few days to get used to Haitian time, but he took me everywhere that I needed to go and kept me safe.

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On Christmas Eve, I went with most of the boys to explore a castle. One of the boys was our tour guide and explained the significance of it all. All of them always wanted their pictures taken, so we had a mini photo shoot.

On Christmas Day, we went to a party with some of the other town kids. Jackie was very festive and was definitely in the Christmas spirit. We listened to music, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company.

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During the week, I would play basketball with all the kids every day. Ti-Sony, Ricardo, and a bunch of the older guys and I would have tournaments and play a series of games. The kids also taught me how to play Haitian Casino and Haitian checkers which was very exciting. Even though we couldn’t really communicate, it was very interesting trying to figure out all of the rules. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun just loving on all the kids.

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Some of the days, I helped Samson do arts and crafts. He does an excellent job creating cards, and I loved being a part of his work. I also participated in Running Club with some of the kids. Running down the boulevard and seeing where these kids came from just broke my heart, but the kids loved running together holding each other’s hands.

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I had around 100 Streethearts T-shirts printed which I was able to hand out to every one of the kids. It was such a joy seeing them get so excited and see their faces light up.

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Towards the end of my stay, I was able to take Ricardo and Julien out to dinner. It was so cute to see the boys get so excited and dress up to go out. They both ordered fried chicken, and I could tell that they definitely enjoyed it.

Ricardo and Julien rode in the car to drop me off back home. Ricardo just held my hand the whole time and kept saying “mwen renmen ou anpil chak jou” which means “I love you so much every day.” Ever since my first trip to Haiti in the summer of 2016, Ricardo became my best friend. He gave me this bracelet which I still wear today, and when I saw him for the second time this past Christmas, he couldn’t believe I still kept them. He considers me his sister and started to cry when I was about to be dropped off. Obviously, this broke my heart and made me cry too. He then wiped away my tears and kept telling me that he loved me. I told both Ricardo and Julien that I love them both, I’ll be praying for them, and that I will see them again soon.

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I love all these boys unconditionally and they will always have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful that God has given me this opportunity to come and serve and show love to all these kids. I will be praying for Linsey and all the work she is doing, for the safety of the staff, and all the kids in the program and the future street kids that will come. I love you all and I cannot wait to see all my boys again soon!! :) <3 Love, Kate Carbone

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