MIAMI (WSVN) - After traveling to an orphanage in Haiti, one high school senior has made it her mission to help in every way she can.
Sabrina Dillon of Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High school has spent every summer of high school helping those in need in Northwest Haiti, an impoverished area with dozens of malnourished infants and a critical lack of medical equipment.
She personally encountered malnourished infants, extreme poverty and a lack of medical equipment and proper diagnosis. “I was so in such shock because I was in such a poverty-stricken place. I had never seen anything like it,” she said. “There’s people living on the sides of the streets in tents made of sticks and sheets, and there’s emaciated children running around.”
In addition to the children and infants who are in dire need of proper clothing, nourishment and care, she was stunned by their need for proper medical treatment and equipment.
“There’s no air conditioning, and there’s probably 10 to 12 people in one specific room,” said Dillon. “Even if they have a contagious disease, like tuberculosis, they will be in a room with a 6-year-old girl.”
Since her first trip to Haiti, Dillon has made it her mission to help and make a difference. For the past three years, the 17-year-old has spent her summers volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti called “House of Hope,” which inspired her to create an organization called “Rx for Hope.”
Alongside her church, Miami Shores Presbyterian Church, and her high school, she started raising money for “Rx for Hope” by hosting a used book drive at her school.
The funds raised at the event were used to buy containers filled with medical equipment, shoes and necessities for infants.
So far, Dillon believes, these donations have made an incredible difference.
“Doctors are always talking to us about how they are so grateful that we have all of these things,” said Dillon, “and then, when we go to the orphanage, we see kids walking around in shirts that we donated to them or shoes that we bought them, and it’s just really rewarding to see that it’s actually making an impact.”
Her impact has helped save lives, including the life of little Jamesley, a child who had been misdiagnosed in Haiti with terminal bone cancer, last summer. Now, he’s getting the proper treatment he needs and is expected to be OK.
What started as small donations from family and friends has turned into a community-wide project. “Towards the end, we ended up expanding to asking local doctors and people who we’re not as close with,” said Dillon, “but everyone has been so happy to give back to us, and I think that’s really great.”
Her impact has gone above and beyond medical care. Dillon has even helped the community in a different way — by creating translation books to help the children and some adults learn English.
And this is just the beginning. Dillon hopes that with the help from the South Florida community, she can continue to help this Haitian community for years to come.
“It’s so great that you can help, even if it’s one child at a time,” she said. “It’s making such a huge impact because we’re saving their lives.”
If you would like to contact Sabrina for information or to help, write her at email@example.com.
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