A Special First Communion Dress

Just a few years ago, two little girls were found alone, sick and homeless in a swamp on the north coast of Haiti. Leonie and Milouise were wandering barefoot, dressed in rags, searching for a crumb of food to ease their hunger, when Fr. Duken Augustin, a Catholic priest from Cap-Haitien, rescued them. The girls had orange-tinted hair, a sign of severe malnutrition.  Fr. Duken provided them with medical attention, food and clean water, and found a family in Nativity Village at Prolongé to take them in and nurse them back to health.

Fr. Duken tells us, “Since Leonie and Milouise were rescued from the swamp, they have started to receive a formal education and can now face their futures with confidence. I am really proud of the progress the sisters have made in their lives. I wish all the young girls in Haiti could receive the same opportunities afforded to Leonie and Milouise. I am really happy for them and their good fortune.”

Now 10 and 8 years old, Leonie and Milouise are in school and thriving, although they are still small for their ages, due to years of malnourishment. Both girls made their First Communion on June 1 at Our Lady of Altagrace Catholic Church in Fort St. Michel, Cap-Haitien. To ensure they had something new and special to wear for this all-important day, parishioners at Church of the Nativity in Burke, Virginia, sent beautiful white First Communion dresses to the girls.

Food For The Poor sponsors the Jessica’s Closet project, which provides First Communion dresses and suits to children in orphanages throughout the Caribbean and Central America.  The First Communion outfits are donated by Catholic churches and schools throughout the United States and are sent by Food For The Poor to the orphanages.  Scores of beautiful dresses, used only one time, are now blessing children who could not afford to purchase a new one.

Food For The Poor, the second-largest international relief and development organization in the United States, serves the poor of the Caribbean, Latin America and the U.S. Food For The Poor provides food, emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, basic housing, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. More than 96% of all donations received in 2007 went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information please visit: www.foodforthepoor.org.


Ann Briere
(954) 427-2222 x 6614