CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A small group from St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids is preparing for a trip to Haiti.
The exact destination is the Ebenezer Glenn Orphanage in the town of Dessalines, which is north of Port-au-Prince.
Before they leave, they’re packing a handful of suitcases with supplies for the children.
“It’s like Christmas morning every time you come in with a team, because it’s like what’s in the bag?” said one of the trip organizers and Molly Grafft’s sister, Megan Lewis.
For one group member, this trip holds a bigger meaning.
Several years ago, Molly Grafft was one of the children at the orphanage.
“My parents were interested, so they came by the orphanage and they picked me out of different children or what have you and here I am,” Grafft said.
Grafft has visited the orphanage a couple of times, but this is the first time returning as an adult.
The 26-year-old said she often thinks about how lucky she is.
“I am blessed to even be here, to be alive, because if I was back there — I had come down with a staph infection that they had found out when I came here. I know that if I was still in Haiti I wouldn’t have — they wouldn’t have had the medicine and what not for me to probably survive,” Grafft said.
Molly’s older sister, Megan Lewis, helped organize the trip. She said it’s powerful to see the place where her sister comes from and to help other children.
“One of our trips in the past was to redo the kitchen they had down there so we are taking some cooking supplies for that. I think the team this time is going to be working on a roof for the baby dorm,” Lewis said.
They’re all working to make a difference, and if that means packing extra to make kids smile, that’s what they’ll do.
Grafft said her family adopted several children from different places, three came from the orphanage in Haiti.
The group leaves next Sunday and will be gone for about ten days. Some of the church members try to go every year.
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