SONYA YENCER (Red Thread Promise): The name of the Red Thread Promise came from an ancient Chinese proverb that talks about a silken red thread of destiny that connects everybody. In Haiti, disabled children are often not treated well, they are often neglected, sometimes abused, abandoned. So, following the earthquake, the majority of St. Vincent ‘s original school and clinic and church was completely destroyed and there was only one building left standing. Anything that wasn’t destroyed was looted.
REV. SCOTT ALBERGATE (St. Paul’s Episcopal Church): It was clear right away the connection between New Orleans and Haiti. St. Paul’s is the most devastated of our churches in Katrina. And, with its story of rebuilding completely on faith and with the spirit too at the same time. Not just to rebuild themselves but to pay forward all of the blessings that this church received.
KATHY KORGE ALBERGATE (Red Thread Promise): When the earthquake hit in Haiti, I said, you know what, we need wheelchairs there. We need wheelchairs that are going to handle the terrain. We had over 24 churches in the United States contributing for one full container of wheelchairs, crutches, canes. Our Diocese reached out. They did it. Janie and Grant heard about the wheelchair program through church and they saw it in the hallway and they wanted to do a fundraiser. They came to us. We didn’t ask them. But, many children at St. Paul’s and in our school here, in the church and school came to us with different fundraisers.
We have given the children brand new wheelchairs, their own, that are fit for them. Little Diana went from an adult wheelchair that was falling apart to this teeny tiny little petite wheelchair. We saw her glow. We’ve given teenage boys an opportunity to play basketball now by having a wheelchair that they can twirl around in. It’s been incredible.
So if we do nothing else other than to make sure they have proper food, water and a chance to have a good education, we feel accomplished, we feel like we’ve paid it forward. We’re doing something to help.
YENCER: I think people can choose to grasp that red thread of destiny, choose to acknowledge that it’s there. That we really are connected. That these are our brothers and sisters regardless of the color of our skin or where we grew up. You know, it’s humanity that brings us all together.