What Do We Do?

Education | Nutrition | Basic Health Care | Clean Water

Hands for Haiti continues to break the cycle of poverty in Tremessee by providing education, nutrition,and basic health care for the children and clean water for the village in a faith based environment. Hands for Haiti is a registered 401(c)3 non-profit that has provided these services by building and operating St. Marc's School in the village.

Before St. Marc's School, over 90% of the children in the area of Tremessee were unable to finish even primary school. Many of the families could not afford a single meal each day for themselves or the children. The village also lacked access to clean water. 

Our organization helps educate over 270 children from pre-school through the 10th grade.  The total number of part-time and full-time staff from the community is over 50, which provides a big economic impact.

Hands for Haiti provides each child a nutritious lunch year round, and from our newer tilapia pond and chicken coop we are able to offer minimal meal support to their families as well.

Basic Healthcare
Because of our nutrition efforts, the children are remarkably healthier than before.  In partnership with a local clinic, basic healthcare is provided.

Clean Water/Sanitation
By constructing four wells and two sets of toilets, the school and the villagers now have ready access to clean water.
Our dream is to provide these children with the tools to enter trade school or University and lift up the entire Tremessee area.

Meet Our Team
St. Marc's Staff
School Administator - Father Leon

In 2017, we were excited to hire Father Leon to lead our team as the school administrator. Father Leon has over 13 years of education experience both as a teacher and administrator. He brings much needed experience in education, love for the students and parents, and very strong administration skills to our organization.

Board Members:

Executive Director - Steve Favory
Steve Favory retired as the Chief Financial Officer of the SMS System Maintenance Services, Inc, a Global IT Service Company. Previous he has worked for several global IT, manufacturing and service companies and has spent considerable time living abroad. He was shocked to see poverty of the world and how little was being done to help. Steve has been involved in Haiti for 12 years with initial focus on food and water. After making several trips to Haiti, it was apparent the people of Haiti were willing and able to better their lives, if they were given a chance.Being a active member on the Board provides him the opportunity and the pleasure to get involve directly with local Haitians willing to commit their time and efforts to better their children’s education.Steve lives in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife and three children. His entire family enjoys taking mission trips to Haiti. Steve has been on several non-profit and profit boards and has been active in multiple Homeless ministries in Charlotte, Atlanta and Phoenix.

Tom Bourgeois
Tom Bourgeois joined the board in 2010 with a vision for improving economic opportunities for Haitian communities. Tom holds a masters degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from the School of Regional Planning (with a concentration in Economic in Development). He currently works as the Deputy Director of the Pace Univ. Energy & Climate Center and is the Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Northeast Clean Energy Center (NECEAC). He has been the primary author of reports on issues of energy efficiency, renewable energy policy and regional economic development.

Steve Gebhardt
Steve Gebhardt, his wife, Ann, and their three children live in Randolph, New Jersey. He graduated from Utah State with a degree in Microbiology. In 2000, he made his first trip to visit the head office of The Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica and has since filled his passport with multiple trips, primarily to Cap Haitien, Haiti. During one of his visits, he met the children of Tremesee and fell in love with them. Steve is also a member of St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church in Randolph and leads a food drive that sends shipper containers full of food to Haiti annually. He works as a distributor of Cellular Communications and loves Notre Dame football and Seton Hall basketball.

Jeff Hynes
Having traveled extensively in the developing world, Jeff was very interested in getting involved with an organization that would directly benefit those struggling with poverty, without all of the overhead of many other large organizations. He strongly believes that the most effective way to make a difference is to partner locally, providing those in need with the means to break the cycle of poverty through their own hard work and effort. Since 2007, Jeff has made multiple trips to Tremessee to meet with the villagers and survey the progress of the school. He is amazed at what has been accomplished there in the past several years, and is very happy to work with an organization where all donations directly benefit the children and change lives on an individual level. Currently, Jeff Hynes lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and three daughters.

Joe Becker
Joe Becker, Chairmen of the Board, brings a real heart for making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. After a career in the theme park industry, Joe has been with the American Red Cross, where he led the organization’s national Disaster Relief for seven years and now leads the Red Cross units in the Mid Atlantic States. Joe lives in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife Tammy and has three adult children. Joe believes that the combination of immediate relief, education, and investment in long-term sustainability will continue to make the most powerful impact on the amazingly resilient people of Haiti.

Cindy Tice
Cindy Tice grew up in a small town in the Panhandle of Texas and attained her Master’s degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin University. Cindy left the educational system and joined the ranks of corporate America as a wealth advisor, currently working as the First Vice President with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Cindy is a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of four. She became involved with Hands for Haiti in 2010 after meeting Jeff Hynes, who’s hands on involvement as a board member, passion for Haitian children, and motivation for their educational development prompted Cindy to accompany him on his next trip to Haiti. Cindy states, “Those adorable Haitian children with whom I share my abundance, have in return shared their blessings of love, dignity, self respect and strength. In this endeavor, I have received much more than I have given. I have been blessed beyond my understanding.”

Ernest Dwight
Ernest Dwight (BA Economics & Business, Belmont Abbey College 1970) is the founder and former owner/ President of SouthWood Corporation, from which he retired in 2016. He is a Trustee of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), and a recognized speaker/author on way finding, branding and signage. He and his wife Vicky are lifelong residents of Charlotte, and they have 4 children and 8 grandchildren.

Joanna Patcha
Currently a candidate in the Master of Social Work Program at The University of North Carolina, Charlotte.  Joanna has over 10 years of business experience at Fortune 500 companies, including Nestlé, Kellogg’s, and Bristol Myers Squibb.  She is an active member of her parish and leads three ministries, A Child's Place, Prison Ministry and Peace and Social Justice Ministry.  Joanna is a member of the St. Matthew Catholic Church Parish Council.  She has a BA in finance from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western University in International Business and Marketing.

Tremessee, Haiti

Tremessee, a bumpy hour outside of Cap Haiten, is Haiti’s northern capital. It is estimated that between 4000-5000 people live in this lush, humid corner of Haiti. There is no pavement in Tremessee, no electricity, no plumbing, no stores and until recently no real school. For anyone who has never visited a place like Haiti, it’s almost impossible to understand how difficult life is.
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Email: stevefavory@aol.com   |