Who We Are

St William Catholic Church was a participant in the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas, St. William was paired with St. Joseph Church in Côte-de-fer in Haiti, in 2008, and a Haiti Committee was formed.   In 2012, the Haiti Committee applied to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, Helping Hugs, Inc. 

Twinning

A brief history of the “Twinning” relationship between St. William Church, St. Simons Island, GA and St. Joseph Parish, Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti

“Twinning”  expresses the coming together of two communities in search of an ever-deepening faith on their journey to understand and appreciate each other in mutual respect.

St. William Church
Saint Joseph Church

St. William Church, St. Simons Island, GA

St. Joseph Parish, Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti

Helping HUgs Inc History

August 2018

Second Water Project
Our second water project was completed in the mountain village of Mayette. This community will now have a clean, potable supply of water with the expectation of improved health.
August 2018

July 2018

New Roof Completed
Construction was completed on the new roof for St. Lawrence Chapel. People can now attend Mass and community events without the fear of adverse weather conditions.
July 2018

April 2018

1563 pounds delivered…

1563 pounds of shoes, sandals, reading glasses, hymnals, clothing, towels, personal hygiene items, musical instruments and medical supplies for the next Medical Mission were shipped to St. Joseph through PTPA. 

April 2018

February 2018

4th Medical Mission

A fourth medical mission trip was conducted in Cotes-de-Fer and three chapels: St. Anthony, St. Lawrence and the Nativity of Our Lady.  

February 2018

November 2017

Annual Fundraiser

The annual fundraising dinner/auction raised $40,470.01 in support of Education, Clean Water, Medical Missions and Building Construction.  

November 2017

September 2017

More Students Served

The St. William community increased the number of students sponsored to 285 at the 3 schools located in the area of Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti.

September 2017

March 2017

1932 pounds delivered…

1932 pounds of musical instruments, personal hygiene items, medical equipment and supplies, clothing, sandals and school supplies were shipped to St. Joseph through PTPA.

In keeping with our spiritual mission, funds were sent to help in the repair of 10 chapels from damage as a result of the earthquake and hurricane Matthew.

March 2017

February 2017

3rd Medical Mission

A third medical mission was conducted in Côtes-de-Fer and two chapels: St. Matthias in Mayette and Mother Teresa in Metayer.

February 2017

November 2016

Annual Fundraiser

The annual fundraising dinner/auction raised $32,563.43 in support of Education, Transportation and Building Improvement needs.

November 2016

September 2016

Sponsoring Students

The St. William community sponsored 223 student tuition scholarships.

September 2016

July 2016

Water Project

Water Project completed supplying clean, potable water to the Education/Rectory building, school and the village of Côtes-de-Fer.

July 2016

May 2016

Fact Finding Visit

Two members from St. William made a relationship-building and fact-finding visit with the new pastor, Father Islaire Faustin.

May 2016

April 2016

875 pounds delivered…

Eight hundred fifty seven pounds of personal hygiene items and school uniforms were shipped to St. Joseph through PTPA.  

April 2016

November 2015

Fundraiser Dinner & 2nd Medical Mission

The annual fundraising dinner/auction raised $22,700 in support of a Clean Water project for St. Joseph.

A second Medical Mission (Women’s Clinic) was conducted in the Côtes-de-Fer area.  

November 2015

September 2015

New Leadership & Education Sponsorship

Father Islaire Faustin is assigned to St. Joseph parish. 

The St. William community sponsored 163 student tuition scholarships. 

September 2015

April 2015

700 Pounds Delivered

Seven Hundred pounds of medical supplies, first aid kits, school supplies, school uniform, personal hygiene bags, clothing and glasses were sent to St. Joseph through PTPA.

April 2015

November 2014

Annual Fundraiser Dinner

The annual fundraising dinner/auction raised $27,300 in support of the new Rectory/Education Building.

November 2014

October 2014

1st Medical Mission

The first Medical Mission trip was conducted in Côtes-de-Fer.  

October 2014

August 2014

138 Educational Sponsorships

One Hundred thirty eight students were sponsored for tuition scholarships.  

August 2014

April 2014

1800 Pounds Delivered…

Eighteen hundred pounds of medical supplies, school uniforms, school supplies, and personal care items were sent to St. Joseph through PTPA.  

April 2014

December 2013

82 Educational Sponsorships

The St. William Community sponsored 82 student tuition scholarships. 

December 2013

October 2013

$35,000 Raised at Annual Dinner

A fund raising dinner and auction, with 155 people in attendance, raised over $35,000 in support of a new Rectory/Education Building for St. Joseph.

October 2013

February 2013

Youth Group raises $4000

St. William Youth Group collected $4,000 for the “Souper Bowl of Caring” on Super Bowl Sunday and designated the collection for St. Joseph  Parish.

February 2013

November 2012

Helping Hugs Becomes Non-Profit & Haitian Christmas Ornaments raise $5400

The Haiti Committee applied to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, Helping Hugs, Inc.

A fundraiser, selling Haitian angel ornaments and “raffle” tickets for a decorated Christmas Tree netted more than $5,400.

November 2012

August 2012

82 Educational Scholarships

The St. William community sponsored eighty two student tuition scholarships.

August 2012

March 2012

Church Members Visit Haiti

Two members of St. William Church visited Fr. Jude.  Gifts included medical supplies, clothes for the children, school supplies and cash donations.

March 2012

February 2012

Generator & Solar Panels Gifted

Money was sent to Fr. Jude to purchase and install a generator and solar panels.

February 2012

August 2011

35 Children Sponsored & 6 Families Received Assistance

Thirty five children, whose parents could not afford to send them to school, were sponsored by the St. William community.

Through donations, six families received assistance to start a small business. 

August 2011

April 2011

2000 Pounds Delivered

Two Thousand pounds of school supplies, Medical supplies, toys and school uniforms were sent to St.Joseph.

Help continued through the monthly donation from St. William, donations from parishioners and the selling of Christmas gift baskets of Fair Trade consumables.  

Frequent communication through phone and email kept the two communities in touch.

April 2011

February 2011

$5000 Raised for St Joseph Parish

Fr. Jude visited St. William.  He met many parishioners, $5,000 was raised to benefit his community. 

February 2011

May 2010

$5280 Raised

A major fundraiser amassed $5,820 for St. Joseph parish.

May 2010

April 2010

Monthly Stipend to St Joseph Parish Begins

A monthly stipend to St. Joseph parish began.

April 2010

March 2010

Haiti Committee Meetings Sanctioned

Msgr. Kenneally sanctioned meetings of the Haiti Committee.

St. William Parish Council agreed to provide a monthly stipend to St. Joseph parish to help Fr. Jude rebuild and provide immediate assistance to his community.

March 2010

February 2010

“Haiti Committee” Proposed

A “Haiti Committee” of parishioners was proposed at St. William.

Another shipment of medical supplies was sent from St. William to Port-Au-Prince.  Our representatives were unable to go to Côtes-de-Fer because the roads were impassable. 

February 2010

January 2010

Catastrophic Earthquake

A catastrophic earthquake hit Haiti.  Two nurses from St. William returned to Haiti to provide medical assistance in Port-Au-Prince.

January 2010

November 2009

St William visits Haiti

Three members of St. William traveled to Haiti to visit with Father Jude Fils-Aimé.  Gifts included medical supplies, school supplies and cash donations.

November 2009

March 2009

Father Jude File-Aimé

Father Jude File-Aimé was assigned to St. Joseph parish.

March 2009

November 2008

PTPA Identified St Joseph Parish

The PTPA identified St. Joseph Parish, Côtes-de-Fer, Haiti as a match for St. William.

November 2008

September 2008

Parish Twinning Program

St William contacted the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas (PTPA), a facilitating organization that matches two Catholic parishes and helps maintain those relationships.  

September 2008