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Thread: Small Shoes, Big Smiles
05-06-04, 04:58 AM #1
Small Shoes, Big Smiles
Small Shoes, Big Smiles
Submitted by: MCB Camp Lejeune
Story Identification Number: 20045584519
Story by Cpl. Mike Escobar
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti(May 5, 2004) -- Imagine having no television, no video games, no toilet, no running water.
Navy Cmdr. Brad A. Steele, the Combined Joint Task Force- Haiti liaison officer to the Haitian National Police, described the lack of basic commodities most children take for granted in hopes of “tugging at their heart strings” and encouraging them to donate a simple thing Americans take for granted; shoes.
With the help of the children, friends and family, he collected more than 130 pairs of shoes, which he brought to Haiti for distribution.
Steele and Marines from Combat Service Support Detachment-20 distributed these shoes to children of the New Life Children’s Home orphanage here on Wednesday.
He said he was inspired to donate the shoes upon seeing the squalor and misery in which some Haitian kids live. Steele asked his wife and kids to spread the word and help collect shoes for the children here while he was attending a conference in Miami.
He brought four full duffel bags of shoes with him upon returning, he added.
Samuel Montesir, owner of New Life Children’s Home, said he was elated to see the Marines distributing the shoes.
“For us here, it’s been good that you have come,” Montesir stated. “The children are happy that you have come.”
While at the orphanage, the Marines did more than deliver shoes, they made time to play and interact with the children as well. The older children challenged some devil dogs to a game of soccer, while other Marines played with and handed out candy to the younger kids.
“We’re trying to help the population feel better, and we’re not asking for anything in return,” Steele stated.
Steele also said he believes community outreache projects like these help CJTF-Haiti function better.
“Any time that we can help somebody it always helps us do our job better,” he continued. Steele said children are the future of Haiti, so by helping them out now, CJTF-Haiti is truly helping to secure tomorrow.
Port-au-Prince, Haiti- Sgt. Martinez Francois, liaison to the HNP, laces up pair of new shoes on a Haitian boy's feet. The Marines distributed 134 pairs of shoes Wednesday to the New Life Children's Home orphanage here. Photo by: Cpl. Mike Escobar
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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