This has been a fabulous year! Thank you all so much for your support. This week, the Be Like Brit team has been reflecting and we wanted to share with you our favorite memories from 2017. After reading, comment below and let us know your favorite memory from this year!
This year I had the honor to serve as "Team Captain" for Be Like Brit's very first Boston Marathon Team through the John Hancock Non-Profit Partner Program. Team Captain makes it sound like I actually did some physical work, but I did not. Instead, I had the privilege of coordinating our first two runners - Joe Rezuke and Jenny Foley as they trained to run 26.2 miles and at the same time, raise money for BLB! It was a completely overwhelming experience and an absolute blast. Joe and Jenny were an absolute joy to work with and not only did they both complete the Marathon, but raised over $20,000 for BLB in the process. I was in complete awe of their hard work and dedication and I admit there were a few times during the process where they inspired me so much I actually thought to myself "wow, I should run a marathon". No, that basically has no chance of ever happening, but trust me when I say that to inspire ME to even CONSIDER running 26 miles for ANYTHING is impressive. Thank you again to Jenny and Joe for showing me what complete admiration looks like and for being a part of one of my best memories of 2017!
-Alycia, Director of Development
One of my very favorite memories with BLB was on my first trip to Haiti with a group that was comprised of my dear friends, most of whom I grew up with. This was a team who built 2 houses in one week, a team that mastered concrete day, a group who had our kids giggling endlessly on the dance floor. They were, and are, all-stars. So as we were leaving for the airport on our last day, Francky, who had instantly become a member of our little family, told us that his last group was "the best" because they took a picture holding him sideways before they left. Naturally, our strong guys on the team said, "Francky.. we'll show you who's the best!" and proceeded to lift him up high over their heads, bellowing the most natural laughter I had heard in years. We all shouted in unison, "SPAGHETTI!!" and this photo was snapped. This is a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life!"
-Chloe Rits, Florida Director of Outreach
How do I pick one memory out of all 2017?! If I had to choose, it would be celebrating Flag Day in Haiti. I had no idea what an incredible holiday it was going to be. Everyone dressed up in red and blue and we joined the community at St. Francois School where the children and staff participated in a party. It included dancing, singing, and potato sack races. Christ-Love was selected for the last race, and in the final few hops he pulled ahead and took the lead. You would have thought he won a gold medal at the Olympics! All of the staff and his siblings were screaming, cheering, jumping and dancing, while lifting him up in the air on their shoulders. The smile on Christ-Love's face will always stay in the back of my mind.
-Shelby, Assistant Britsionary Coordinator
Although everyday working at Be Like Brit is a fabulous 2017 memory, I have to say this year my favorite BLB memory would have to be the Brit’s B*tches trip I took back in July. This trip was unlike any other trip I have ever taken to Haiti, I was fortunate enough to travel to Haiti with some very important people to both Britney and to me. This was the first (of hopefully many!) trip to Haiti with some of Britney’s BFF’s; Carly, Meagan, Taylor and myself! It was wonderful to be in Haiti with them and really get to experience where she made that last wish to start an orphanage. This trip is one that I will always cherish, the laughs and stories we were able to share, the bond we were able to build from this trip is unbreakable! There are way too many ‘best parts’ of the trip to mention, but I have to say handing the keys to Antoinette after a few days on the work site had to be the number one! That night it poured and we all reflected on how she is now DRY with a warm bed to sleep in, Britney would have been proud (and shocked) of all we were able to do!
-Kate, Volunteer & Child Sponsorship Coordinator
Spending 3 months this summer at Brit’s Home was definitely my favorite part of 2017. There were so many smiles, laugh, hugs, and high fives shared that I’ll never forget. I think one of my favorite memories is when I took the children’s photos on their first day of school. Each of their personality’s shined through in their individual portraits and they loved taking pictures together and with the caregivers. I was so happy to see their smiling faces in the morning and hear about their day when they came home. Such a special day!
-Danielle, Media Coordinator
When I moved to London in the Fall of 2016, I knew the program I was enrolled in would be rigorous, and likely would not allow me to travel to Haiti while I was studying – especially not as often as I was traveling to Haiti while I was living in Massachusetts. Luckily, things did not go as expected, and I was able to travel to Haiti three times this year, once in February, once in May, and once again in July! Though every one of my trips are amazing memories from 2017, I would have to say my favorite memory of 2017 occurred in July. For the very first time at our Worcester, Massachusetts Office (The OC), we hosted a Britsionary Reunion! We invited every Britsionary who has come to Haiti since the founding of Be Like Brit, and so many of them attended the reunion! While I love working and being in Haiti, it is through the hard work of our Britsionarys that homes are built for the families in need in our community in Grand Goave. Our Britsionarys also make each trip unique, and give their Trip Leaders different memories and laughs to bring home with them! It was just so amazing to see so many Britsionarys come together at our Britsionary Reunion, and so incredible to look around and both see and feel the love from so many people in one place. My heart was so full, and I am just so thankful I was able to be there too!
-Melissa, Britsionary Coordinator