UPDATES ON MELISSA'S PLACE

It has been well over a year since our very successful fundraiser in Orange Beach, AL that raised enough money to complete Melissa's Place, an orphanage for girls near Jeremie, Haiti. A big shout out to the musicians, the sponsors, the auctioneers and bidders, those who bought tickets to the concert and those who could not attend but made contributions. In total, more than $20,000 was raised as a result of this event.
 

Now that the building process has been completed, we need to establish a means to fund the ongoing day to day operational costs. This will include expenses for food and water, staffing, and school. We estimate that $3,300 per girl per year will be needed to meet expenses.The director of the orphanage, Father Garry, only speaks Haitian. Therefore, communication is a challenge but it is our intent to provide each sponsor with a periodic update on your child's progress.

The long term plan is for the girls to learn how to grow much of their own food and to sell the excess to the local villagers. Even then, they will only be able to cover a portion of their expenses so ongoing help will be necessary.

Jerry and Helen Shelly have committed to sponsoring 5 year old Berlancia Desir with her annual financial need. Berlancia currently lives in a straw hut and is in need of medical attention. She is representative of many of the nineteen girls who will live at Melissa's Place. We invite you to sponsor one of these girls and provide whatever financial commitment you are comfortable making. 

MEET THE GIRLS

JOVENA

6 yrs. old

Jovena never knew her father. Her mother lives with her aunt in Port-au-Prince and has not been a good role model for Jovena.

MARILENE

12 yrs. old

Marilène's mother has 5 children and no husband. She lives in extreme poverty.

ESTANIE

ELDOR

11 yrs. old

father deceased

Eldor is forced to live with her grandmother as her stepfather does not like her.

ANSELINE

6 yrs. old

mother deceased

Anseline's father has 5 children to take care of. He works on a farm every day and has a hard time tending to the children.

SHELOVE

10 yrs. old

Shelove's mother has 5 children. She has no home and currently lives with her grandmother.

GUSTIN

14 yrs. old

mother & father deceased

Gustin lives with her grandmother and aunt in extreme poverty. 

CHRISTINE

12 yrs. old

has twin sister, Christa

Christine's father left her mother when he found out she was expecting. Both sisters are available for sponsorship.

DALENE

SAINT-LOUIS

7 yrs. old

mother & father deceased

Saint-Louis's parents were victims of the earthquake of January 2010. Her aunt has has not been able to take care of her. 

CHOISILENE

12 yrs. old

Choisilène's mother has 5 children to take care of. They live in extreme poverty.

LOVENKA

GUERLENE

7 yrs. old

mother deceased

Guerlène's mother died in childbirth. She currently lives with her grandmother who is not able to support her.

CLAUDIA

6 yrs. old

father deceased

Claudia's mother has 7 children and is not able to work. Claudia suffers with a breathing problem.

WIDELANDE

13 yrs. old

mother deceased

Widelande lives in a house that has no doors. Her father has to beg neighbors daily for food.

CHRISTA

12 yrs. old

twin sister to Christine

Christa's father left her mother when he found our she was expecting.

DARLENE

6 yrs. old

mother & father deceased

Darlène lives with her grand sister. Her grandparents only give her food.

JUNIA

8 yrs. old

mother deceased

Junia's father is very poor and she is left to tend for herself.

KENCIA

13 yrs. old

father deceased

Kencia's father died in the earthquake of January 2010. Her mother has 4 children that she leaves with neighbors to care for.

MELISSA'S PLACE

Jerry Shelly, Director of the Melissa's Place Benefit Concert says, "During my last trip to Haiti, I met a Haitian priest who is doing some amazing work to help address the needs of the many orphaned children there. His name is Father Garry. In addition to being a full-time priest, he has built two orphanages and is working on a third. I visited the proposed site for the new one in 2014 and met the 15 girls, ages 5 to 16 who would be the first to live there.  I agreed to do what I could to help him raise funds that he will need to provide the girls with a safe home and opportunity. He estimates the cost to build and furnish the facility to be $85,000, a modest amount by U.S. standards. The orphanage will be located in Georgette, a small hamlet about 35 miles east of Jeremie. Land for the site has been donated and the girls' home will be named after my daughter Melissa, who lost her life a decade ago in a tragic car accident."

ABOUT MELISSA

Melissa (Shelly) Barry, 28, and her husband Dylan, 29, were killed in a car wreck on July 1, 2004.  Their three-year-old son, Zeke, survived the accident and is now a healthy 15 year old. Music was a large part of their lives. Melissa was a singer songwriter who wrote poignant songs about her marriage and raising a son. She was the lead singer in a Birmingham, Alabama based new grass band called Folk Salad. Jason Bailey, an accomplished mandolin player and founder of the band said, "When Melissa sang, she sounded crisp and angelic, with a warm earthiness many artists strive for. She had a voice like a lead singer needed to have: it was unique, you knew it was her singing." 

 

Just a few months before Melissa's accident, her father, Jerry, arranged for Folk Salad to record a demo of some of Melissa's songs in a local studio. After the accident, all of her home recorded originals were combined with the professionally produced and recorded arrangements for a complete CD of all her music. 

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**The CD is now available upon request to all of those who donate to Melissa's Place.  Click here to request a copy. You can also enjoy a sampling from the CD of "Perfect Love" below.

 

 

 

© 2014 The Paul Meyers Foundation