Ola Arrington looks over some of the dresses, bowes and flip-flops gathered to be shipped to Haiti as part of a mission trip by members of Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church.

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Ola Arrington looks over some of the dresses, bowes and flip-flops gathered to be shipped to Haiti as part of a mission trip by members of Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church.

Mission project brightens lives in Haiti

From Staff Reports

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The end of school won’t be a typical summer break for a coach-teacher at Tarboro High School and a new graduate there.

Leshaun Jenkins, a social studies teacher and soccer coach, and Hydeia Shaw, the graduate, will go July 8-16 to Croix-des-Bouqueps, Haiti, as part of a mission project for Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, a release says.

“There, they will spend two weeks of their summer vacation helping to rebuild roads, reconstruct dwellings and teaching biblical concepts and principles,” the release says. “It’s a summer ‘vacation’ they really look forward to taking.”

The project is part of the recovery effort following the 2010 earthquake that devastated the Caribbean nation.

“Its people still struggle to survive,” the release says. “Many of those struggling are innocent children, orphaned since the quake ...

“Members of Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church, spearheaded by Frances Andrews, formed a ‘Bows for Haiti’ committee to begin the projects of hand making hair bows and dresses that will be paired with a matching pair of flip-flops that will be donated to these orphaned children.”

Work on the bows part of the project has been running since April. Girls and women of all ages used fabrics, buttons and hot glue guns to make more than 200 hair bows.

Other women made more than 40 children’s dresses.

Valerie Kenney, an Eastern Star member, was buying flip-flops in a local store for the project when other shoppers learned what she was planning to do.

“They reached in their pockets and began to give me donations, too,” Kenney said in the release.

The project’s organizing committee task is collecting money to ship the items to Haiti. Money left over after the shipping costs are paid will be used to buy supplies and food for the Haitian families.

The trip won’t be Jenkins’ first effort at Haitian earthquake relief. The 1-A soccer coach of the year collected soccer shoes and took them to Haiti in 2013, the release says.

The pair will travel to Haiti and work alongside a group from Bethel Baptist Church.

Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church is at 718 E. Church St., Tarboro. Its senior pastor is the Rev. Kelly Andrews.