Haiti (MNN) — For Haiti With Love is throwing an exclusive party. Who are the lucky few invited?
The poorest of the poor.
"Rich people aren't allowed to come. This is a poor people party," says ministry director Eva DeHart. "It's for people on our food program, for people that we see in the streets whose kids don't have any clothes, for people who have never experienced anything like this before."
This year will mark For Haiti's 25th annual Christmas party in Cap Haitien, Haiti. Most people don't do more than head to church on Christmas in the nation, but For Haiti makes sure it's a celebration for at least a few.
"For Haiti With Love throws a birthday party for Jesus," says DeHart. "We give everybody a full meal. Everybody gets new gifts–stuff that they want instead of stuff that they need. It's a good time to share the Christmas story."
The party is quite a feat to put on each year. Logistics and planning get complicated since For Haiti ships gifts–and 500 cookies–from Florida to Haiti each year.
And shipping isn't cheap. "It costs us about $2 a pound by the time we get it across the state and to our headquarters in Haiti," says DeHart. Due in large part to these shipping costs, the total cost for the party ends up around $8,000.
It might be a lot for a Christmas party, but the lives changed are well worth it. Children receive toys for what may be the first and even last time in their lives. Warm hot meals are served. And most importantly, the Gospel story is shared with everyone in attendance.
The party has been spiritually and socially successful enough to keep a significant spot on the For Haiti calendar for 25 years.
Preparations for this year's celebration are already well under way. A group of girls are making the cookies this Sunday. DeHart says other items are already on their way to Haiti. "We just released over 1,000 pounds of medical supplies and Christmas gifts for the party."
Still, with shipping costs as high as they are, more funding is needed to send all the gifts over. If you would like to help For Haiti bring a Christmas celebration of a lifetime to dozens of poor children and adults, visit forhaitiwithlove.org.