Haitian woman and child wearing hats donated by Maine business, The Little Hat Company. As Valentine's Day is just around the corner, it's the perfect time of year to reflect on all the love in the world.  This year, I am inspired to recognize a special member of my community, Amy Miller of Life and Hope Haiti, and the many caring people in our area who have followed her lead by opening their hearts to others. 

Amy just returned from Leogane, Haiti, where she delivered over 2,500 pounds of food and much-needed medical supplies to her friend, Sister Claudette, a Haitian nun whose compound formerly housed and treated the sick, orphaned, elderly and needy.  On January 12th, Sister Claudette's facility was destroyed after a massive earthquake shook the ground.  The compound was located only five miles from the epicenter of the earthquake near Port Au Prince.

Much of the supplies donated and transported by Amy and her team were items collected by school children right here in South Berwick.  To date, over 50 boxes of shoes, several dozen handmade hats and $5,000 has been collected for Haiti.  Perhaps the reason why these kids, their families and local businesses so quickly took action to help Haiti is because 2 years ago, the Haitian children at the Eben Ezer School in Milot had already received donations and letters from South Berwick kids.  South Berwick already had a connection to Haiti through their adoption of this sister school.  Sending pencils, paper, books and uniforms before the earthquake proved their devotion and love for strangers in another part of the world.  As Amy said in today's presentation to 4th and 5th graders, they "already cared about Haiti."  

I'm so proud of the children in our little town, many of whom are friends of the ChildLight Yoga program.  We've taught them in school as part of the Yoga 4 Classrooms program, or in studio classes throughout the seacoast.  We can't help but feel proud of these kids, and hope that their love and care for their pen pals in Haiti will inspire all people to move "off the mat, and into the world," opening their hearts this Valentine's Day.  — Amy Bevan

For more information about our friends at Life and Hope Haiti, please visit http://www.lifeandhopehaiti.org.