NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Middle Tennessee church is making a final push to raise tens of thousands of dollars to help Haitian teenagers with nowhere to go.
Located in Jeremie, Haiti, the Emmanuel Children’s Village is a haven for close to 70 children. But six teens face an uncertain future as Mt. Carmel Baptist Church races to raise funds.
Out just east of Springfield, Tennessee, a group of teens and parents prepare for a yard sale.
Funds raised will be traveling far south of Robertson County.
The Emmanuel Children’s Village has been home to dozens of kids for more than three years.
“It consists of about 70 children, who we found three years ago living in an abandoned night club,” said Margot Fosnes, with the board of directors.
The kids range from all ages, including six 16 year-old-boys with uncertain futures.
“In Haiti [at age 16] they are not allowed to stay in the orphanage anymore, they age out,” explained Fosnes.
According to Emmanuel officials, studies show that 70 percent of children who age out, without a transition plan “will be on the streets or dead within three years.”
That statistic has stuck with the church’s youth.
“I’m 17, and I know I would not be able to live in Haiti on my own,” noted Mary Bowers. “I don’t know; it’s just really hard out there.”
So the youth, along with countless others in the church, got to work to build a transition home. With purchase of land, and construction, the project costs an estimated $85,000.
According to the Emmanuel Home website,“The transition home will prepare these boys to become successful, Christ-following adults, whether they go to University or learn a trade. A pastor and his wife will live at the home as house parents and implement a survival skills curriculum with the boys to prepare them with practical skills such as budgeting, how to use public transportation, public speaking, opening a bank account, manners and more.”
The church already has a transition home for girls who age out. These six teen are the first males in the orphanage to reach this point.
Through a number of fundraisers, yard sales, and online donations, the church has raised $80,000 to date.
They’re now just $5,000 from their goal, but just two days remains.
“September 6 is the date those six boys have to leave,” added Fosnes. “It takes about 30 days to build the home, so we need that money by August 6.”
This makes Saturday’s yard sale all the more important. Every knick sold, could be the knack that pushes them over the edge.
The yard sale is set to start Saturday at 8 a.m.