helping haiti from red bank

by Jordan S., 16

Making a change is never easy. It could be challenging, emotional, adventurous, but it’s still an adjustment. Now, imagine this change affecting your whole life. Imagine you are so adapted and comfortable when all of a sudden life throws you a curveball. Would you be accepting? Or would you be terrified? 

Immigrating from Haiti at the young age of five, Jean Mondesir and his family arrived in America. From a young age, Jean’s mother worked hard to make sure that he and his siblings knew where they came from culturally, which played a big part in his upbringing. Even though he no longer lived in Haiti, it always had a special place in his heart. Jean stated that he wishes his homeland would gain the recognition that it deserves, instead of being known as “the poor country.” Unfortunately, Jean had not been given the chance to visit Haiti for forty-three years, since he first came to America. That came to an end when he finally had the opportunity to not only go back but also to help out his country and his people.

Through his church in Red Bank, New Jersey, Jean and many other congregants were able to give back by volunteering and doing charitable work. Jean Mondesir was not aware that he would have the opportunity to go back, but when he found out that Haiti was on the itinerary as well, he was very excited. 

Jean commented that after they landed, he stepped off the plane and felt “at home.” For him, it was an incredible feeling. Jean was easily able to interact with the people and was thrilled to be in his native country. 

Following this trip, Jean was able to go on many more mission trips to Haiti, helping those in need. He volunteered to build houses and clinics in Haiti as well as run backpack drives, which helped children who do not have the resources to get access to school supplies. 

Jean also had the chance to visit other countries as well, such as Jamaica. There, he was able to do backpack drives, just like he did in Haiti. He found joy in giving back to people who needed it the most. 

Jean has always enjoyed helping those who need it. He considers his journeys one of his many great accomplishments in his life. He will never forget the many adventures he had and the joy he felt while going back to his country. He might live in America now, but Haiti will always be his home.

Speaking with Jean, I was able to learn about the value of helping others. While he might not have gained anything from volunteering, he sure helped many who were less fortunate. It was obvious that Jean is very passionate about what he does, and finds joy in giving back. I am honored to have spoken with a man who is so giving and generous to those who need it.

Rumson, New Jersey