About Hands For Haiti

What is Hands for Haiti?

What is Hands For Haiti?

Hands for Haiti’s mission is to facilitate education to break the cycle of poverty in Tremesse, Haiti. Hands for Haiti is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit that provides complete financial support for St Mark’s School in Tremesse Village, Haiti. Our organization helps educate 230 children from pre-school through the 9th grade. The situation in Tremesse is dire. Before we built our school, over 90% of the children in the area had been unable to finish even primary school. In fact, many of the families could not afford to reliably provide a single meal each day for themselves and their children. 

We’re working to change this. We believe that education is the long-term solution to the problem of desperate poverty that faces Haiti, but this can only ultimately be effective if it is provided alongside meeting the immediate needs of the schoolchildren– nutrition, clean water, and basic health. Because of this, Hands for Haiti has made providing nutrition and clean water a priority alongside education. Ultimately our shared vision is to provide our students, from one of the poorest areas of the world, with the resources to rise above. Our dream is to provide these children with the tools to enter trade school or University.  

Hands for Haiti also believes that the best solutions to poverty are locally driven, which is why we chose to partner with the village committee of Tremesse—known locally as the Solidarity Committee. They are a group of concerned people who know intimately both what the problems are in their village, and what the solutions are. It is only because of the circumstances of dire poverty in Haiti that the community has been unable to achieve their goals. Hands for Haiti is proud to work with the villagers of Tremesse to help create a better future for the people of Haiti.

Meet Our Team
Tom Bourgeois
Board Member
Tom Bourgeois joined the board in 2010 with a vision for improving economic opportunities for Haitian communities. Tom holds a masters degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from the School of Regional Planning (with a concentration in Economic in Development). He currently works as the Deputy Director of the Pace Univ. Energy & Climate Center and is the Co-Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Northeast Clean Energy Center (NECEAC). He has been the primary author of reports on issues of energy efficiency, renewable energy policy and regional economic development.

Email: tom.bourgeois@yahoo.com
Steve Gebhardt
Board Member
Steve Gebhardt, his wife, Ann, and their three children live in Randolph, New Jersey. He graduated from Utah State with a degree in Microbiology. In 2000, he made his first trip to visit the head office of The Missionaries of the Poor in Jamaica and has since filled his passport with multiple trips, primarily to Cap Haitien, Haiti. During one of his visits, he met the children of Tremese and fell in love with them. Steve is also a member of St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church in Randolph and leads a food drive that sends shipper containers full of food to Haiti annually. He works as a distributor of Cellular Communications and loves Notre Dame football and Seton Hall basketball.

Email: steve@qwiksource.com
Steve Favory
Board Member
Steve Favory has been involved in Haiti for 9 years with initial focus on food and water. He believes that the people of Haiti are willing and able to better their lives, if they are simply given the chance. Steve says, “Being an active member on the Board provides me with the opportunity and the pleasure to get involve directly with local Haitians willing to commit their time and efforts to better their children’s education.” Steve Favory is Chief Financial Officer of the SMS System Maintenance Services, Inc, a Global IT Service Company. Currently, Steve lives in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife and three children. His entire family enjoys participating in the annual Haiti Food Drive. Steve has been on several non-profit and profit boards and has been active in multiple Homeless ministries in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Phoenix.

Email: stevefavory@aol.com
Jeff Hynes
Board Member
Having traveled extensively in the developing world, Jeff was very interested in getting involved with an organization that would directly benefit those struggling with poverty, without all of the overhead of many other large organizations. He strongly believes that the most effective way to make a difference is to partner locally, providing those in need with the means to break the cycle of poverty through their own hard work and effort. Since 2007, Jeff has made multiple trips to Tremesse to meet with the villagers and survey the progress of the school. He is amazed at what has been accomplished there in the past several years, and is very happy to work with an organization where all donations directly benefit the children and change lives on an individual level. Currently, Jeff Hynes lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and three daughters.

Email: jeffhynes@mail.com
Joe Becker
Board Member
Joe Becker has recently joined the Hands for Haiti board, bringing a real heart for making a difference in the lives of the people we serve. After a career in the theme park industry, Joe has been with the American Red Cross, where he led the organization’s national Disaster Relief for seven years and now leads the Red Cross units in the Mid Atlantic States. Joe lives in Charlotte North Carolina with his wife Tammy and has three adult children. Joe believes that the combination of immediate relief, education, and investment in long-term sustainability will continue to make the most powerful impact on the amazingly resilient people of Haiti.

Email: joebecker68@gmail.com
Cindy Tice
Board Member
Cindy Tice grew up in a small town in the Panhandle of Texas and attained her Master’s degree in Education from Stephen F. Austin University. Cindy left the educational system and joined the ranks of corporate America as a wealth advisor, currently working as the First Vice President with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Cindy is a mother of two daughters and a grandmother of four. She became involved with Hands for Haiti in 2010 after meeting Jeff Hynes, who’s hands on involvement as a board member, passion for Haitian children, and motivation for their educational development prompted Cindy to accompany him on his next trip to Haiti. Cindy states, “Those adorable Haitian children with whom I share my abundance, have in return shared their blessings of love, dignity, self respect and strength. In this endeavor, I have received much more than I have given. I have been blessed beyond my understanding.”

Email: Cindy.Tice@morganstanley.com
Ally Favory
Board Member
Ally Favory’s first visit to Haiti was for the opening of the New Solidarity School in 2010. After one short weekend, she fell in love with the Haitian people admiring their kind words, joyful spirits, and hopeful hearts. She served as an active member of the organization, with frequent trips to Haiti, for five years before joining the board in 2015. Ally Favory is an artist working and living in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Email: allyfavory@gmail.com
Tim Hynes
Board Member
Tim Hynes is a seminarian with the Archdiocese of Boston in his first year of studies at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA. The fifth child in a family of eight kids, he has always had an affinity for children, a factor that heavily influenced his decision to quit his job as a software engineer to spend the next two years of his life volunteering with Heart’s Home International in Lima, Peru. There, he worked alongside other volunteers to inspire and build a culture of compassion. After returning to the United States, a continued desire to work with the poor motivated Tim to take his first trip to Haiti to visit the Solidarity School. It was there that he witnessed a new degree of need. He was deeply impressed by the level of commitment both from the stateside members of Hands for Haiti as well as the ‘boots on the ground’ teachers, administrators and local men and women for whom the children of Tremesse represent a hope for the future of Haiti. Tim strongly believes that it is the locals themselves who know best the needs of their community, a sentiment shared through out the organization.

Email: timhynes@mail.com
Location

Tremesse, Haiti

Tremesse is not as much a village as it is a catchment area on the side of a mountain, a bumpy hour outside of Cap Haiten, Haiti’s northern capital. It is estimated that between 4000-5000 people live in this lush, humid corner of Haiti. There is no village center, pathways lead off into the jungle at every angle. There is no pavement in Tremesse, no electricity, no plumbing, no stores and until recently no real school. For anyone who has never visited a place like Haiti, it’s almost impossible to understand how difficult life is.

School Grounds

Our children eating Stop Hunger Now Meals for lunch in
community center
Email: stevefavory@aol.com   |