***Did you know that every dime that we, All Souls Catholic Church, raises for Timkatec that Patrick O'Shea and his friends MATCH EVERY DIME? So, every dollar you give is doubled!! This is so needed for our Haiti friends, especially since they have experienced the most devastating disaster our world has seen. Please continue to give to this wonderful charity!
All Souls Catholic Church has been helping out our friends at Timkatec for a number of years. Our parishioner, Patrick O'Shea and a few of his friends began Friends of Timkatec to help Fr. Simon and the children of Haiti. At All Souls, we are touched with how much our support has helped this small school grow and we have seen how it has helped these young individuals graduate with a skill to become productive citizens.
Replacements Bassist Tommy Stinson Helps in Haiti
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 7, 2010
MEDIA, Pa. (AP) -- Since he picked up a bass guitar and dropped out of 10th grade to hit the road with underground legends The Replacements in 1983, Tommy Stinson has sold millions of records, performed all over the world and secured his place in the rock 'n' roll canon.
As he prepares to embark on a European tour with Guns N' Roses, Stinson, 43, is devoting his time and money to a new passion: helping children left homeless by the Haitian earthquake.
This summer, Stinson will hold an online fundraiser by auctioning personal and donated items that will be posted on his website, including an autographed bass guitar and two of his signature custom-made plaid suits.
''We've got some stuff to auction off that I think will span all three bands I've been in, from Soul Asylum, Replacements, Guns N' Roses,'' he told The Associated Press during a recent interview at his home and recording studio outside Philadelphia.
''We're just going to try to do our best to raise some money to help in our way, help the kids the best we can.''
The mechanics are still being worked out, but the goal is to have it up and running before Stinson leaves for Europe to tour with Guns N' Roses at the end of August.
''It's not just people talking about it that's going to help the earthquake survivors get past this,'' he said. ''It's going to be a lot of years. ... We're just trying to our little share of the work here with what we've got.''
After he decided to donate the proceeds of the upcoming auction to charity, a friend suggested Timkatec, a nonprofit founded in 1994 by a Roman Catholic priest to house and educate more than 500 children in the Port-au-Prince area.
''They pay for education and food and supplies for these kids who basically have no families, no life, no nothing, out on the street, as young as 5, 6 years old,'' he said.
Rather than just writing a check, Stinson wanted to see firsthand where his money would be going and recently traveled to Haiti with the goal of ''besides getting financially involved, getting emotionally involved.''
In late July, attended a graduation ceremony for 60 young men from Timkatec who earned trade degrees. The school trains destitute boys for work as plumbers, electricians, tailors, shoe makers and construction workers; its sister school trains teenage girls as cooks, hairdressers, seamstresses and child care workers.
''You can see the pride in their faces. You can see the hope. You can see the gratitude,'' Stinson said a few days after returning from Haiti.
The experience was eye-opening, he said. Driving through Port-au-Prince, it was obvious that Haiti was in dire straits long before the earthquake, but he was inspired by the aid workers and the young graduates he met during his visit.
''These kids have to be able to focus on something other than their own misery,'' said Patrick O'Shea of Sanford, Fla., founder of Friends of Timkatec in America, which raises funds for the Haitian organization's relief efforts.
O'Shea, 70, was born outside London during World War II and understands the burden of growing up without parents: His mother was killed in an air raid and his father died of tuberculosis while fighting overseas.
''I'm not a rock fan personally, and I didn't know anything about Tommy,'' O'Shea said, ''but I do know that this is a guy with his heart in the right place, flying down at his own expense to see what we do, coming here to help raise money to help these kids.''
As the Jan. 12 earthquake falls off the radar screens of many Americans, conditions in Haiti remain dire: An estimated 1.6 million people continue living under tarps and tents on dangerous ground.
Little reconstruction has been done since the magnitude-7 quake pulverized the capital. Piles of rubble and thousands of collapsed buildings remain where they fell. Even transitional shelters are a rarity for most.
Stinson wants to keep Haiti in people's faces -- and he intends to enlist some of his rock 'n' roll friends in the effort.
''I don't really have the money to do this kind of thing, but I put aside the money because I think it's important,'' he said.
Though he'll be spending much of what remains of 2010 on the road with Guns N' Roses, Stinson suspects that his help for Haiti won't end with the upcoming auction.
''After ... spending 30 years of chasing the rock dream,'' he said with a laugh, ''you know, there's a few more important things in life than that.''
January-April 2010 Earthquake Update Report
Short Synopsis of how Timkatec is fairing after the devastating earthquake from Patrick O'Shea...
Timkatec is up and running. Opened 5 weeks BEFORE any other schools in the PAP area and before the Government open a day. In addition, they have taken in so many kids that the total is higher than before the disaster even though they have 150 students unaccounted for, at this time.
Timkatec works where most things do not. I am concerned about Father Simon's health as he will be 81 shortly and gets very little rest. He is talking about hiring a Secretary-more an Administrator to understudy him. A good idea but expensive by Haiti standards.
Timkatec is the exception. We are getting a 5000 kilo truckload of food and other supplies each month from CRS which is a huge help. The remaining big problem is the water supply. Fr. Simon has to buy 3 truckloads each week. I plan to work with CRS on this when I am there. He needs a tank to put on top of the building and they have promised since March.
Look for my next update...
July 2010 Update
Patrick O'Shea, Mike Spinelli, Tommy Stinson (Guns & Roses), his Manager Ben Perlstein and a journalist will be traveling to Timkatec mid-July for the graduation of the students. Through all the disaster, Fr. Simon has still been able to, somehow, manage to continue to help and teach these students. Best of luck to them all and safe travels!
What is Timkatec?
Father Joseph started Timkatec Center "Timoun k'ap teke chans" ("Children who try their luck to survive") in Petion-Ville, just outside of Port au Prince, over 10 years ago. He has built its mission up over the years to the point that it now supports over 100 children today. He scours the teeming streets of Port au Prince for homeless and abandoned children, some as young as 5 years old. Others present themselves at the center and he will not turn them away.
"Timkatec receives many admission requests, however they do not have room to accept them all. It is difficult to refuse a child who comes at night, in the rain, asking for a small place to sleep. In those instances, children sleep on the floor, sometimes with only a blanket, sometimes without even that. A rotation system was established, in order to allow children to sleep in beds on a schedule." Father Joseph Simon of Timkatec
Before, when they were between 12 and 16 years old, many of these children had fire arms, and they knew how to use them for "protecting themselves", they said to the priest. The working methodology of Timkatec is based on two pillars: education and professional training. In this way, the child learns to be aware of his talents, his personality, nature's beauty and of his real limits.
The center provides them with food, shelter and basic education. Over 50% of the children also participate in a vocational training program that the center established with businesses in the community. Through this program, boys and girls are taught such skills as mechanics, electrical wiring and sewing. Some notable achievements have been made, including improvements in the children's health, literacy skills and self-esteem. This has garnered them a reputation as hard working and responsible and has decreased the number of crimes in the area. In certain cases, some children have been reunited with their families.
How Can You Help?
Donate directly to Timkatec.
Patrick O'Shea invites you to contact him directly to find out how you can help in other ways.
Patrick J. O'Shea FTS CTC
Friends of Timkatec in America
Ph: 407 323 3100
Cell: 407 221 5392