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ESL Students aid Haiti's kids


Immigrants target 'incredible situation'



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Students in Michelle Ortizís Monday English as a Second Language class fill backpacks with items they collected for shipment to Haiti. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
March 22, 2010
OUTHBRIDGE — Unlike many Southbridgians, Jose Acevedo knows what it's like to need international aid after a natural disaster.

"Haiti is an incredible situation," he said. "Ö This is part of the American dream — people help people and join together."

Acevedo, who came here three years ago from Puerto Rico, was there when the island was hit repeatedly by big hurricanes. He recalled many wooden structures being destroyed and "the whole island was affected."

From that experience, it was an easy step to join his classmates in the Worcester Community Action Council's English as a Second Language program in an effort to create backpacks for people in Haiti. For the last few weeks, they've been gathering various everyday supplies — toiletries, blankets, place settings, non-perishable food, first aid materials, small tools and the like, with tents being the biggest need — to ship to an Episcopal order called the Sisters of St. Margaret in Petion-ville, Haiti.

The group has been there since 1927 providing scholarships, running a hospice/home for the elderly poor, and providing other services in and around Port au Prince.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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