Weekly Update from Chester Eastside, Wednesday, June 18.
Expanding the horizons.
The Caribbean island nation of Haiti is a long way from Chester, PA. So, you might ask, what was Rev. Bernice Warren, Chester Eastside’s Executive Director, doing there recently?
Taking the time to do so, moreover, with the blessing of Board members.
It all started with a devastating earthquake in 2010 that left an estimated 160,000 dead and many times that number homeless. In a country whose total population is not that much more than New York City’s and whose economy was a struggle to begin with, it was catastrophic. Four years later, Haiti still has a long way to go to recovery.
Seeing that devastation up close “ignited a fire in me,” says Rev. Warren. The latest visit, one of a number since 2010, was an occasion, not just to bring along things ranging from seeds for planting to medical supplies, but to give Chester residents a graphic lesson in giving and receiving. She took along some Chester people to see for themselves. “So often we’re on the
receiving end here in Chester,” she said. “People need to see others many times worse off and be able to see themselves as sources of help to their brothers and sisters in another part of the world.”
The payoff for Chester Eastside and its work.
Expanding our horizons in this way has often held unanticipated benefits for Chester Eastside and its work. Like the time Rev. Warren was helping with the cleanup along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and happened to run into a retired craftsman from nearby Ridley Park, also on a mission of mercy. That chance meeting led to the man’s bringing his group of skilled volunteers, the Busy Bodies, to provide months and months of free labor to Chester Eastside, invaluable help which has continued to this day.
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• Meeting basic human needs
• Helping people of all ages be all that they can be
• Working for a more just society