Since 1993, St. Veronica Parish has partnered and had a “twinning” relationship with Hands Together, an organization founded by Fr. Tom Hagan, OSFS in 1986, and serving the needs of the destitute poor in the country of Haiti.
Since Fr. Tom’s first visit to St. Veronica Parish as a Catholic Mission Appeals missionary begging for money to help fund his work, our parish has held an annual collection in May of each year to help the people of Haiti and to support the work and various projects of Hands Together. Over the years our parish has collected over $200,000 which has been sent to Fr. Tom to directly help fund various projects. These have included such projects as: digging water wells and irrigation systems in rural Haiti, build modest but sturdy housing for the elderly poor in Cite Soleil (a slum in Port-au-Prince), and to help construct and support the schools built by Hands Together, also in Cite Soleil.
In addition, our parish has also held three emergency fund-raising relief efforts: two following the terrible hurricanes in Haiti (Jeanne in 2004; Ike in 2008) and, most recently, following the devastating earthquake in January 2010. In 2016, Doug Campbell, the Executive Director of Hands Together, came to St. Veronica to update the parish on all that has been done, needs to be done, as well as thanking parishioners for their tremendous support over the years.
In 2004, Fr. Tom acknowledged and honored the long-time support shown by our parish and its generous-hearted people by naming the newest school opened in Cite Soleil the St. Veronique Campus.
Hands Together has been awarded Charity Navigator's highest four star rating for sound fiscal management for the third consecutive year. According to Charity Navigator, one of the leading Charity watchdog and assessment organizations, "Less than a quarter of the charities we've rated have received our highest rating, indicating that Hands Together outperforms most charities in America in its efforts to operate in the most fiscally responsible way possible."
Parishioners may read further about all the outstanding work done by Fr. Tom Hagan and Hands Together by visiting www.handstogether.org.