To Haiti and Back with Love
Before Dr. Jason Hitner, a practicing pediatrician from our area (and the son of Elaine Hitner, Cherry Avenue fifth-grade teacher) went to help the earthquake victims in Haiti, the Sunrise Drive and Cherry Avenue communities quickly fundraised for supplies. At Sunrise Drive, funds were raised in various ways: students made a collection of loose change, while the Sunrise Drive Student Council and staff held a dance and sold baked goods. Their donations combined with Cherry Avenue's contributions from faculty and Mrs. Hitner's Fifth-graders totaled $1,200 and allowed Dr. Hitner to bring first aid, medical supplies, and much-needed medicines to the devastated country.
Dr. Jason Hitner was profoundly moved by the courage he witnessed as he attended to the sick and injured in Haiti. He felt compelled to share his experiences and thank those who gave their support. Compiling photos and information about the country, Dr. Hitner returned to both Cherry Avenue and Sunrise Drive with a slide presentation to help the Sayville elementary students understand how important their contributions were in helping these unfortunate people not so far away. (Click on the link to see attached presentation below.)
The Sayville students were riveted by Dr. Hitner's simple narrative as he explained each slide. "The students asked so many questions about the present state of the country and the future," Sunrise Drive social worker Toni Fabian observed. "Dr. Hitner was wonderful with them and his slide show was amazing."
By the end of his presentation, although the students were happy to have made such a difference in the lives of so many, they also realized the people of Haiti would need more time and support to recover from this castrophe.