Mission Statement: The PV Volunteers are an ecumenical community of diverse individuals. By providing a service experience in a variety of settings, we respond to human need, form relationships and encourage change and growth both in ourselves and with those we serve.

Visit our website to find out more: www.pvprogram.org

Friday, January 22, 2010

Save the Date - 3rd Annual LIVE WITH PASSION

The 3rd annual Live With Passion is coming up on Saturday, April 24, 2010.  This is our biggest fundraising event of the year.  Last year we made close to $15,000!!!  The best part is EVERYONE can take part.  We ask PVs, or friends and family of PVs to organize an event in their area on April 24th.  Then participants go out and get sponsors for the event.  The event can range from organize a walk around your neighborhood to gathering people together for a 24 hour bike/run event to gathering your fellow farmers for a planting marathon.... Put on your thinking caps and used your creativity to think of an "event" for your community.  In the past we have had walks, hikes, canoeing, planting, biking, eating and performing, just to name a few.  The best part of the day is the chance to gather together as a community and know that your fellow PVs are doing the same.

We will supply you with all the necessary info for your day's event.  In the next few weeks look for an email with brochures and sponsor sheets.   Please let us know if you think you would like to put on an event, and we do our best to support you.

A little inspiration from past events....

Washington DC - 24 Run/Bike and picnicking with Passion

Cincinnatti, OH - Walking and picnicking with Passion

Wyoming County, WV - Hiking With Passion

Tiverton, RI - Canoeing With Passion

Reading, PA - Walking with Passion

Seattle, WA - Walking with Passion

Anamoose, ND - Walking with Passion

Brooklyn, NY - Walking the Brooklyn Bridge with Passion

2009 Brooklyn, NY - Voices with Passion

There are a lot more 2009 Live with Passion Event Pictures from the 17 sites I am just having trouble locating them.  Email them to us and we will include them for more inspiration....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I-Give Special Offer

I-Give has been a wonderful source of fundraising for us. Here is their latest offer to help us raise more funds....spread the word!!!!

For each person who joins iGive using the special link below and does just one qualified web search on our site between now and noon Thursday, we'll give PV Volunteers a dollar.

Of course, if these new members search more (or buy something at an iGive store) they'll earn even more money for PV Volunteers. Right now, we're donating a special $.02 per search and a bonus $5 for that first purchase plus the usual percentage.

Here's where you come in. The only way PV Volunteers will get new supporters and that free $1 (or more) is if you invite them. Send your friends, family, and colleagues the following link in an e-mail, tweet it, do a Facebook posting, put up posters, shout from mountain tops (you know the drill) and let them know you think
PV Volunteers is pretty cool and deserves their support, especially since it's free! You can even just forward this e-mail.

This is the link:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti Update

Artists for peace and justice is another place for updates on the situation in Haiti. They are a group of actors who a couple years ago chose to support the work that Fr. Rick does in Haiti. They seem to be updating their site quite frequently. There was also an interview with their founder, Paul Haggis (director of the movie Crash) on Canadian Television this morning.

Also, on another sad note, Fr. Rick's mother passed away yesterday. Fr. Rick was able to return to the states to be with his mom and family when she passed. Please keep the Frechette family in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti Update

News about Fr. Rick Frechette in Haiti

A patient is carried by medical staff for treatment.

The hospital continues to be swamped with patients. We are not able to assess where they are coming from. They are desperate to find medical care. Overall the estimate is 500-700 patients in a hospital which is built for 200. Out of that 700, 200 are children and one third are under 12 years of age.

Approximately 100 x-rays have been performed daily and there are still people awaiting x-rays. There is one operating room functioning at this time for amputation of arms and legs. We are trying to prioritize surgeries, but we still do not have a working system and people are awaiting amputations. Most of the injuries we are seeing are fractures to the extremities, external fractures and wounds that are a couple days old; it is impossible to fix the smashed and soft tissue injuries.

Basic utilities, including water and electricity, are up and running. The pipes to the well were damaged, but they are now functioning properly.

Due to the dedicated staff, we are able to maintain a high level of hygiene, on all levels in the hospital. A truck arrived today from Food for the Poor, which delivered rice and beans, surgical supplies and disinfectants. Also a donation of 2500 family rations was delivered from CVS so that everyone that leaves the hospital has a supply of food.

The hospital grounds are open on some sides due to the perimeter wall falling down and there are slight security concerns but no major incidents. There are security issues all over Haiti and the UN is stepping up patrols with their limited resources.

Most patients are on the ground floor of the hospital. The second floor is empty with no patients. It is clear that the rooms were left in a hurry; there are still plates of food on the tables. People are afraid to go inside the buildings and apparently there are still aftershocks. According to the government’s advice, we are not to be in the building. There has been no assessment of the buildings, only according to eyesight there is no damage. Some of the ground floor rooms are being used for intervention and wound casting and dressing.

The front yard is full of patients that we are trying to move into the courtyards. Luckily, we have not had any rain. Plastic sheets have been set-up to provide shade wherever it is possible.

Today, two people died…one adult and one child, but there were also two births. One boy and one girl. It was delightful to see the physician from Italy running around trying to find a rubber band for the ambilical cord. He then found a band in an office, sterilzed it and used it.

The Italian army is setting up tent offices in our backyard, flattening the land and waiting for their supplies to be delivered. We anticipate they will be attending to patients as well.

Fr. Rick is providing medical care to patients, giving hope and talking with people to re-instill hope. He is providing pastoral care to everyone, including the staff. Among his many other duties, Fr Rick and Fr Peter (American) have also taken medical supplies to visit the injured around the city and performed funeral services at the general morgue.

Doctors from all over the world are coming to volunteer. It is amazing and impressive to see that considering all the languages, people are all working together and working hard to alleviate suffering. Staff and volunteers are sweating like crazy, everyone is tired and exhausted. It is amazing to see that 14-years after I worked here, there are so many ex-pequeños still here along with the staff. Dr Arty was with us all day. She is like Fr. Rick, helping to motivate the staff. She is a great support to the Haitian staff if they have difficulty understanding a volunteer.

At 5 pm, the lights are back on. You can hear the sound of the generator, all the cars have left the compound and the city has lights again. It is quiet where before there were many people yelling and crying in pain.

The local mobile phone service is up and running but still jammed and the satellite service seems to be jammed. We are trying to have a central communication command and we brought our own satellite phones (if they work) but we need radios on the compound to find people. The stores are not open but we are receiving re-enforcements from the Dominican Republic.

The children in Kenscoff are doing well and everyone is safe. There is hardly any structural damage. Currently there is enough food, but they are running low on diesel. Since we have close UN ties, there should not be a problem replenishing our supplies. There are still lots of vegetables, fruits and potatoes in the market, though the prices are increasing rapidly.

Ferel is working in Petionville and Port-au-Prince to help with the external youths, ex-pequeños and staff. Alfonso arrived today to help with coordination at the home. Margo (Ferel’s wife) is also helping along with Sr Altagracia.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Updates from Haiti

Updates from Haiti

Fr. Rick Frechette, CP has arrived back in Haiti and as given this update:

Hello Friends,

After driving by night to Kennedy Airport January 12th, and flying to the Dominican Republic January 13th, Conan and I arrived to Haiti this morning in the helicopter of the President of the Dominican Republic. This ride was due to the reputation of NPH in the Dominican Republic, NPH Italy, a reputation enhanced in the DR by Andrea Bocelli not long ago.

Our first tasks were the medical evacuation of one of our American volunteers, the medical evacuation of one of our Cuban doctors and the evacuation of the body if one of our American visitors. The search still continues in the rubble for another missing American volunteer, Molly.

We also had 18 funerals today. One for John who works at our St Luke program. We miss John very much. He often stopped to at my door to tell me the milestone of his developing baby, which delighted him no end. John ran our computerized language lab. Another was for Johanne’s mother. Joanne is one of the Directors of the St Luke program. All the others were of unknown people who were sadly rotting by the wayside.

Other sadnesses…the death of Immacula, our only physician assistant, who worked at our huge outpatient side of our hospital. The death of ALL but one of Joseph Ferdinand’s brothers and sisters, the death of the husband of Jacqueline Gautier as he was visiting a school which fell and all the students (all died), the death of our ex-pequeno Wilfrid Altisme who was in his 5th year of seminary for priesthood. Other stories of deaths of people who are dear to us keep coming in.

We spent the rest of the time managing the countless people with serious and severe wounds, coming to our hospital. We are doing our best for them, under trees and in the parking lot with ever diminishing supplies. We will work throughout the night and beyond. No stores are open, no banks are open. Diesel is running out. Will be out in two days if we don’t find a solution, which will mean no power at all. The hospital is without water since there is some broken line between the well and the water tower.

Structural damages to the hospital seem superficial at first glance, but about half the outer perimeter walls have fallen. The old hospital in Petionville is in ruins, and teams of workers, led by Ferel, and been digging for Molly non-stop around the clock.

WE HAVE NO INTERNET. OUR PHONES DO NOT WORK. IF A CALL DOES GET THROUGH WE CAN’T HEAR OR BE HEARD. Robin has internet access through a satellite. I asked her to send this message for me, and to read my emails and answer them as best she can for now.

Please continue to pray for us. We pray for you too.

Fr. Rick Frechette

Additional links about Fr. Rick,the work he has done in Haiti for the past two decades and ways to help his efforts

An ABC news story from today

NBC story

CNN story: Hollywood Artist for Justice and Peace in support of Fr. Rick

Links to Passionist's JPIC blog

The Passionist Emergency Funds for Haiti

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


As you all know with the earthquake in Haiti, it's people are suffering immensely. Passionist priest, Fr. Rick Frechette, CP, is a missionary and medical doctor to the people of Haiti. He sent the following letter and will be updating the situation on the Passionists website:


Please keep the people of Haiti in your prayers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Elms Crew

The Elms College group in Wyoming County in December. Look at all the snow in front of the Food Bank! We think the group from Chicopee, Massachusetts felt right at home.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

We hope you and yours have had a wonderful holiday season. Many apologies for the long delays in posting. There has been a lot going which we hope to catch you up on in this post. It is our hope to post weekly on the blog to keep you up to date on all the goings on during the year and the daily entries during the summer.

December was a busy month for us. We had our second board meeting on December 12 in Philadelphia. It was a very productive meeting and we feel ready to tackle all the challenges of being a "new" organization. After the board meeting we headed up to New York for the Mass the Passionists held for the program on December 13 at Our Lady of Monserrate in Bedford Stuyvesant. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate, which prevented several people who were planning on coming from being to make it. We had a wonderful turnout of PVs and PV supporters. We want to personally thank everyone who made the trip to Bed-Stuy, it really meant ALOT to us. You are the best!

Next on our agenda was the Winter Break Service Trip from Elms College. Elms has come each December for the past 8 years (with Bruce generously coordinating the trip for us), but this was going to be the first time for us to be a part of the trip and we were really looking forward to it. We picked up Dan at the airport and traveled south to Wyoming County to be with Bruce, Arnie and Kathy. This is where the adventure began. We started hearing reports of a possible snow storm that would be hitting the area Friday afternoon. The students were scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon. Luckily they arrived in the morning and then it began to snow, and boy did it snow. When we woke up on Saturday morning there was 18 inches of heavy snow on the ground and we had no electricity. We figured heat wise we would be ok since we have gas heat, however we found out that you need electricity to run the gas the heat. ooops! Dan and Bruce were shoveling fools, shoveling out the cars and the walkway. We started hearing that the power would not be back on until Monday evening or possibly as late as Christmas. We couldn't get out to the Elms students who were out in Brenton at the ASP building and their phone lines were down. Lo and behold Saturday afternoon there college bus drives up with Sr. Maureen. I guess being from Massachusetts, their bus driver and bus were well equipped for the snow. We found out the students were fine, but not only did they not have power, they did not have water. Unfortunately, all the service opportunities set up for the students involved the schools (which were closed), a toy fund (which was postponed) and a home repair site (which we needed electricity for and the roads to the site were impassable) After a quick strategizing session we decided to meet at the Food Bank in Mullens the following day, since they had power and most importantly warmth! The students were able to do work in the food bank and go on a few home visits and then it was decided that they would head back to Massachusetts. It was a bit of a disappointment for the students and for us, but it was a great reminder that we have to be flexible and have a sense of humor, two important parts of being a PV! When we headed out at the same time as the Elms students we stopped in Charleston to get a hotel room, we got the last room in a five story hotel FULL of people without power. When we were able to see the news reports we found out that 2/3 of Wyoming County was without power and many of those customers wouldn't be getting the power back until Christmas at the earliest. They did set up shelters in Mullens and at Glen Fork Grade School so people could be warm and have a good meal. I can only imagine how long it will take to get everyone's power back on, especially up in the hollers.

So that was our exciting December. Lots of memories. It is rather ironic, the last big snowstorm Wyoming County had was back in 1998 when we were in the county checking out possible service opportunity for the program. Now 12 years later, we are starting a new phase of the life of the program in the same way.

Some pictures...

TGIA's Christmas Party with members and family

After the Mass, Fr. Lucian and Patti

The Mass was the first time in awhile that all the TGIA leaders were together, perfect photo op.

The beginning of the snow, very pretty

This picture is out the front door of our house in Pineville. Bruce and Dan already had shoveled the deck and a path to the truck.

Looking down the street, back towards the house. We were lucky in that every so often a truck with a plow on the front came through and plowed our street. Our street was in better shape that the main road through Pineville!

Dan shoveling out the van. The afternoon before we couldn't get the van to go up and over the railroad tracks so we had to leave it at the old Pineville Jr. High. Unfortunately, that also meant more shoveling just to get it back up to the road. Luckily Bruce and Dan are shoveling machines! (We did help some, but they insisted on doing it themselves : ) )

Dan trying to stay warm. Luckily we have blankets for 50 volunteers!

Staying warm and eating anything that didn't need to be cooked, since our stove was electric. Not the healthiest of diets, but you have to eat right?

There was lots and lots of time to catch up