Len at Work

Yes the title of this blog is a painfully corny play-on-words to the equally painful 1990 film Men at Work. I couldn’t help myself and beg of your forgiveness now. We have had an overwhelming week here at Be Like Brit starting with the arrival of Len and Cherylann Richie and Kate Mark and Jan Fuller Wendy Perkins from Worcester Academy Patty Eppi

Pride and Patriotism

Growing up in the United States I remember very clearly how much the notion of pride and patriotism in one’s country was emphasized. Whether it was sitting on the banks of the Saranac River in Plattsburgh NY watching the fireworks commemorate our Independence on July 4 or sitting around the campfire on Lake Champlain with sparklers in hand on Mem

 

Birthday parties, holiday celebrations, baseball games, family dinners, going to church, family bike rides, learning how to swim, broken bones, tears from bullying and broken hearts, struggles in school, hugs, kisses, I love you's and so much more are just some of the moments that I have shared with Britney, Bernie and Richie. Though we are just starting to create these memories with our 66 children in Haiti, the credit of these moments also belongs to the 50 ladies that I feel blessed to have at BLB every day because they are constantly helping our children. To some, this could be looked at as a job, however, I can personally tell you that these women walk into BLB every day and truly want what is best for our children as if they were their own. Even though we have grown up thousands of miles from one another, we strive for the children to grow in a safe, nurturing environment, to have a strong faith, a sense of self and a great education. That way, they each can grow up to be the best versions of themselves just as I wanted for my own three children. I want to say thank you to our special 50 “moms” in Haiti and to all of the fabulous mothers who are like our 50 ladies,

Happy Mother's Day

 Birthday parties holiday celebrations baseball games family dinners going to church family bike rides learning how to swim broken bones tears from bullying and broken hearts struggles in school hugs kisses I love yous and so much more are just some of the moments that I have shared with Britney Bernie and Richie. Though we are just starting t

Is that really Haiti?

I froze. I felt the smile slowly slide off my face. I stared at the picture of the beautiful Haitian sunrise in my hand. My eyes fell on the colors in the sky—deep blue and orange and pink and gray—and on the layers of verdurous mountains that seemed unending and on the warm golden sun whose generous rays bathed the entire landscape. I knew

Simple Firsts

After an exciting week with our friends from Holy Name Junior and Senior High School in Worcester we are rolling into the last week of April and we can’t quite believe it! Holy Name sends a group down each year and we love the dynamic that having high school students on hand brings to Be Like Brit. Indeed the group worked very hard on their build


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Growth

Its been another busy week here in Haiti and while we often share with you our plans and strategies for sustaining the orphanage and the organization as a whole we dont often talk to you about growth! Thats right with as much as we have going on already at Be Like Brit we are always forward-thinking and always examining and planning for our growth

Caught in the Rain

It is hard to believe we are a full 10 days into the month of April 2016 already and weve done anything but slow down here at Be Like Brit! Having returned later in the week from a trip to the United States working at the Be Like Brit office in Worcester and holding lots of meetings with current and potential partners supporters and donors I was ex

Trip to Worcester

After a wonderful Easter holiday the children all finally made their way back to school this past week and we are anxiously awaiting their report cards due sometime this coming week! The children truly do love the opportunity to go to school; they recognize school as the opportunity and blessing that it is in Haiti - the fact that it is a privilege



We hope that all of you are having (and had) a Blessed Easter holiday with your family and friends. We will be busy preparing to head back to school tomorrow morning bright and early, and look forward to the next week">

Easter Week!

With the children on Easter holiday from school this past week having just wrapped up from taking their quarterly exams for their report cards it was an especially busy and hectic week here at Be Like Brit! We also had the pleasure of hosting the Asnuntuck Community College group from Enfield CT and having those extra capable hands on deck were mor

From Haiti With Love

Its been just over a week since Madame Love joined the Be Like Brit Haiti Team serving as our Haiti Administrator and working alongside Weenshy in Operations. One of the things that we as an organization have struggled with is the cultural gap between our very American ways of conducting business and the ways things may be done differently in Hai

High Point University Comes to Haiti!

“So many memories roll through me and I realize that this is who we are; memories and shared experiences. This is what ties us all together.”  Words from Melissa It’s not very often you meet a group of people who barely know one another who are willing to adapt the “plan z” mentality without voicing a single word



Long Term Britsionarys: A Reflection from Mark ...

We recently had the pleasure of hosting Mark and Judy Bloomberg as long-term Britsionarys! Our long-term program is designed to bring professional level volunteers to Haiti and contribute to the overall programming in a meaningful and significant way. While we use local talent as much as possible when the need for very specific skill sets exists it

Raising Our Children

Welcome to Be Like Brit our Haiti home! Together Len and I raised Britney Bernie and Richie in a house filled with love. While we were building Brit’s Orphanage in the months and years after her death we knew that we wanted Be Like Brit to be a home NOT an institution. We knew what we felt was important as parents but we also knew the challeng

Oh, Canada! And more!

One of the greatest thing about our Britsionary program in my opinion is the fact that not only does it build homes for those in need here in the area around Be Like Brit but it builds lasting friendships and bonds between volunteers and helps to develop a love and an interest in Haiti and in helping in whatever way one can. As a result of these bo


Changing the Narrative

If you were to tune into your nightly news or to run a Google search on Haiti you would almost certainly think that the world was coming to an end down here. Google results still include images of the earthquake almost exclusively more than six years on. Social media venues allow for ordinary citizens and members of the press alike to upload images


As we gear up for another busy week here in Haiti, we'd like to remind you that on January 21, 2015 (Thursday), we invite you to GO BLUE FOR BRIT! In celebration of Brit's birthday (she would be 26!) we are asking our friends to wear their Be Like Brit gear - or anything in blue, really - and send us your photos of you, your classrooms, schools, colleagues, and more wearing their BLUE for Brit! You can email us your photos throughout the day, and we ask you to share them on social media, too! You can find us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/BeLikeBrit) or on Twitter @BeLikeBrit or Instagram @blbhaiti! Donations in memory of Brit on her birthday will go directly to Haiti, so that we may continue to offer our resources, skills, and talents to help those most in need!


Thank you for helping us help the children of Haiti at Be Like Brit!!!





Seeing With New Eyes - A Reflection

This past week at Be Like Brit was special for a number of reasons. We hosted an incredible group from College of the Holy Cross who built a home for one of our own security guards who is expecting his first child with his girlfriend in the coming months; Dr. Vicki Kvedar and her daughter Julie spent countless hours in our medical clinic conducting


#LoveLivesHere. It truly does. And more than six years after so many thought that the world was coming to an end; six years after for so many the world - or at least this life as we know it in fact did end - the acts of love and the generosity of the human spirit keeps us pressing on, moving forward. Your love and your support have made this journey possible.


Six Years On: Love Lives Here!

As the sun rises this morning of January 10 2016 we here in Haiti wake up in a home which is very filled with love and laughter. Our 66 children and our group of Britsionarys enjoyed a safe and secure night climbing into clean beds with full bellies. Protected from harm by a strong building even stronger walls and security personnel around our prop

2015: A Year in Review!

In just two days on January 5th we will mark three full years since the dedication of Brits Orphanage in an ecumenical ceremony held before more than a hundred family and friends here in Grand Goâve. We cant quite wrap our heads around the fact that its been this long and the change and growth we have seen at Be Like Brit is truly remarkable and s



3 Years Later: Program Committee Chair and Memb...

Last week I had the pleasure of flying back in to Haiti from Boston with the Chair of our Program Committee Christine Steinwand and another program committee member Suzanne Brady. Chris and Suzanne have been committed to Be Like Brit from the early days; as Brits aunt Chris obviously has a clear connection and vested interest in realizing Brits dre

Friends, Old and New!

Its been quite the week for us at Be Like Brit both in Haiti and in the USA! While we welcomed a visit from Cherylann who kept us all busy with planning all the amazing things were working on for 2016 were also busy in the USA planning for the Christmas Holiday in Haiti which includes our Christmas Eve employee appreciation dinner and celebration a

Thanks and Gratitude

We hope that all of our friends enjoyed a safe and happy Thanksgiving Holiday. Despite some of the very sad events happening around our world from natural disasters war political crises gun violence and more we do have much to be thankful for. While this holiday is not celebrated in Haiti we didnt miss the opportunity to teach the children at Be Li


A Gala and An Election: Blessings and Challenge...

Hello from Haiti! I realized this past week that its been a while since Ive written a blog update! With my travel to the U.S. for our annual Fall Gala which was held on November 7 2015 at the DCU Center in Worcester followed by a week-long vacation for me Im long overdue to share with you what is happening with us here at BLB in Haiti! As I sa


Pray For Paris

There are many tragedies in this world that make us hold our breath and say why?  The Cowardly act of many terrorist in Paris the other day will be a day that will be on our minds for many decades to come.  The 129 victims and their families will never be the same the tragedy will change the way they know life it is a devastating time for

How Sweet It Is

How Sweet It Is Melissa-Jean Provost   Have you ever had one of those moments where you’ve closed your eyes felt the cool breeze and warm sunshine rush across your face and you knew you were exactly where you were supposed to be? The time stopped you didn’t have any worries and you ignored everything else but that one moment. If this has eve

Women's Group 2015: Sue's Reflection

Over Columbus Weekend a group of women joined together and soon became a group of friends who experienced an amazing four days at Be Like Brit. With the help and leadership of Cherylann Gengel Eileen Terry and Jonathan LaMare we learned what love and commitment could create. We soon fell in love with the children and staff of Be Like Brit. They and

Gold Participant

Be Like Brit is proud to be a Gold Participant with the Guide Star Exchange. Be Like Brit is a U.S.A. registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which operates a 19,000sf earthquake proof orphanage in Grand Goave, Haiti. The orphanage was built in loving memory of 19 year old Britney Gengel who perished in the Haiti Earthquake while on a service trip with her college, Lynn University. Today there are 66 beautiful children living and thriving in the orphanage. Hundreds of people, from all over the world, come visit the orphanage to volunteer and thousands of individuals are part of the Be Like Brit Family.

Guide Star