GMercyU Sponsors Pillowcase Drive for Mercy Focus on Haiti
By: Lauren Yancer '21
Despite the pandemic and ongoing unrest in Haiti, Gwynedd Mercy University continued its longstanding partnership with Mercy Focus on Haiti (MFOH) by conducting a pillowcase drive.
In the winter 2020, members of MFOH and GMercyU met to discuss ways to support the country despite the ongoing obstacles. Andi Healy, a local connection to MFOH, suggested a pillowcase drive to support food distribution and to decrease the pollution of plastic bags.
Led by Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Betsy Stone Plummer, the MFOH committee, consisting of Tatiana Diaz, Stephanie Fratantaro, Mary Jo Pierantozzi, Jill Winnington, and Janice Nuss, pitched in to support the project. Campus groups such as Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Professor Janice Nuss's Social Work students volunteered their time to help as well. In addition, Betsy reached out to Messiah Church and the Norristown High School Honor Society for their assistance in the project. The groups managed collection sites, washed and folded the pillowcases, performed the final count, and packaged the boxes.
The final challenge was getting the boxes to their shipping container in Tennessee. Andi Healy volunteered to take on this task herself. In the end, the fundraiser exceeded its goal of 600 pillowcases and the funds needed to ship them.
In 2011, at an Institute Chapter meeting for the Sisters of Mercy, a group called Mercy Focus on Haiti (MFOH) was formed. The group shares a common concern for the health and wellbeing of the Haitian people. Since the start of the group, the Mercy Focus on Haiti has narrowed down their support to four areas: agronomy, care for poor elderly, the empowerment of women, and an immersive experience for those interested in MFOH.
Learn more on Mercy Focus on Haiti and how to get involved.