History of Providence Haiti Outreach
Father Giudice began organizing mission retreats to Haiti with small groups of Rhode Islanders in the late 1980's. He developed a close friendship with Father Pardo Serge who eventually became his "trusted agent in Haiti".
Providence Haiti Outreach (PHO) was established in 1997 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Pat Pezzelli, a devoted board member, visited Haiti with Fr. Giudice and envisioned an athletic complex to be built in Marigot. Mr. Pezzelli sadly passed away the following year. Beforehand, Fr. Giudice promised him that the project would go forward with an orphanage and school named in his memory. The Pat Pezzelli Memorial opened with 2 classrooms and 50 grammar school students. More classrooms were added later. Today, 700 children are enrolled each year. In August 2008, the Pat Pezzelli Memorial School was devastated by a series of hurricanes. Fundraising allowed the organization to successfully begin to rebuild.
On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, the worst earthquake in 200 years hit and shattered the county of Haiti. The school was sparred, but there were no food, water or shelter for most. In March 2010, Rhode Island Rocks 4 Haiti and other fundraising events raise nearly $90,000-. In April 2010, over 10,000 pounds of donated food, medical and school supplies were sent to Marigot via boat and were able to circumvent the "red tape" of much larger non-government agencies and get help directly to the children of Marigot and the Pat Pezzelli School. In March 2011, when the children became gravely ill from dirty water, a water purification system was installed. It produces 750 gallons of clean water daily, and enough clean water for 700 children a day. In In March 2011, Fr. Robert Perron and Fr. Wilfrid Gregoire visited Haiti and the school to assess progress and current conditions.
In September 2011, Fr. Giudice handed over the reign of PHO to his colleague, the dynamic Fr. Robert Perron who continues its mission of educating and feeding the needy children of Haiti.
PHO is firmly committed to the support of Haiti's needy children - "the least of our brothers and sisters" - which St Matthew reminds us are the ones who stand in place of Jesus Himself on the earth.
PHO is administered completely with volunteers, 100% of all funds raised are put directly into the hands of those that need help most.