Delivering Food, Shelter, and Hope to the Poorest of the Poor.

PR - 07.11.14

Contact: Tom Panas
(646) 707-3829

Donations Needed to Build Homes for the Poor in Rural Haitian Villages

Boca Raton, Florida (Friday, July 11, 2014) —Responding to serious levels of homelessness and poverty in rural areas of Haiti, The Housing Project of the Haiti Kobonal Mission (Link to Kobonal Housing Project) has launched a special outreach to construct 4-room homes with firm concrete foundations, cement block walls, sturdy wind and waterproof tin roofs, wooden doors and window shutters. A $6,000 contribution will build one of these urgently needed homes.

One Haitian family who would benefit from this program has captured the attention of many in the U.S. through a “viral” video taken in the area. In the segment, Haitian villager Leonise sings with haunting beauty of her longing to have a home for her family. Link to video. The video has been seen by more than 2 million people on YouTube and its impact continues to spread.

Cross Catholic Outreach, a Catholic relief and development organization based in South Florida, is working to make Leonise’s dream a reality, and the ministry hopes her video will attract sponsors to help other struggling Haitian families too. Any additional homes Cross Catholic Outreach can sponsor through contributions will be constructed in partnership with the Kobonal Haiti Mission and its founder and leader, Fr. Glenn Meaux. Since 2003 Cross Catholic Outreach has supported this vital ministry by raising funds to provide housing, education, clean water and food aid. While sharing the love of Christ, the Kobonal Mission builds sturdy homes, provides clean water wells, educates children, feeds the destitute and helps the poor become self-sufficient through microenterprise projects.

Cross Catholic Outreach and the Kobonal Mission is also partnering with KENS 5 News Television in San Antonio, Texas, to raise money for Leonise. It was because of KENS 5 Morning Anchor Sarah Forgeny’s visit to Haiti that the singing video came to be.

Sarah explains. “I had been interested in Haiti and Father Meaux’s work ever since the earthquake in 2010. I asked Father Meaux if I could see his work in Haiti. I spent four days at his mission during my 2014 trip. It was then that I first met Leonise while visiting one of the water wells built by the Kobonal Mission House.”

“While chatting with Leonise, she told me she wishes to have a new cement house for her family because her home keeps flooding. I visited her home, and while there she told me she enjoys singing. I asked her to sing for me because I too love to sing and appreciate music.”

“Watching Leonise sing was the most memorable moment on this trip,” Sarah says. “Her joy was obvious despite her living conditions. She touched my heart and made me realize that no matter what we have in this world, we should be grateful. I knew that when others saw this video, they too would understand even without speaking the language. I posted the video on social media and it became a hit. Viewers from around the world reached out to me wanting to help Leonise and that’s how the partnership with Cross Catholic began.”

Sarah concludes, “I know that Leonise is only one person. But that’s how every great movement starts. One person at a time.” $6,000 will build a cement home for Leonise and her family. Those who wish to help can donate at:


Cross Catholic Outreach

2700 N. Military Trail, Suite 240

PO Box 273908

Boca Raton, Florida 33427-3908


Cross Catholic Outreach is a 501c3

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