Hope Hansen Reflection Letter
Hello, my name is Hope Hansen and I have been managing the website and Facebook for Friar Suppliers for almost two years now. Part of that responsibility is posting reflections and newsletters. As I’ve worked to make the website better I’ve read through a lot of Haiti Mission reflections and I have been absolutely moved by the testimonies of the Brothers, Sisters, and laypeople. I’ve never been on a mission trip myself, but I have been working with Friar Suppliers since I was 7 which is 2/3 of my life!
My family moved to Long Island when I was little and soon joined a prayer group with the Morans. Eventually packing food for the Friars and people of Haiti became a regular Saturday morning activity for my siblings and me. As a kid, it was so fun because I primarily thought of it as a place to see my friends on Saturdays. It is also where I met many religious brothers and sisters as they were picking up the food for their convents and friaries. I knew things were not very good in Haiti so it was nice to know that I was helping them.
When I was around ten Joan and a friend’s mom took a group of us girls into the city. We got to do some fun tourist things, but the main point of the trip was visiting the sisters. We went to the convent for dinner and it was one of the coolest experiences. We helped to make the dinner and set the table, we participated in night prayer, we did a holy hour, and went to mass. As a little girl, I got to see the joy of the sisters and how they spent their evenings. I remember we brought ice cream and it was so exciting because the sisters didn’t usually have dessert. Over the course of that night, my friends and I got to know the sisters and I’ll never forget the way in which that formed me as a little girl. Over the years we would see some of the sisters at Friar Suppliers Picnics and it was always the most fun reunion!
When I got older my brother went on a trip to Haiti with Friar Suppliers. I remember dropping him off at the airport and picking him up, he seemed more mature when he got back. I think he was around 17 at the time and I was probably 12. He told me about the kids everywhere that were begging and how they just wanted to play. Hearing about the conditions in Haiti from my brother made it seem real instead of just a far away place. He showed us pictures and talked about his experiences and I just wanted to do more, but I didn’t know what, so I kept packing beans and rice.
During the end of high school and my first year of college, my dad took on a bigger role in packing food for Haiti. Some weeks it was just my dad and whatever family members were free. Some weeks my dad had to go on work trips so my 16-year-old sister would step up and take charge. Then my dad finally went on a Haiti mission himself, it changed his perspective on everything. After that our family changed some things. We added a couple of extra sacrifices so we could give more to Friar Suppliers each month. The changes didn’t bother me because that’s when I started working on the website. Reading my Dad’s reflection letter and those of the other volunteers who went on the trip was so moving. I got to go through all the pictures when I was working on making posts. Even though their was such poverty in Haiti, there was rarely a picture of volunteers or Haitians without a smile on their faces!
I am lucky to be involved in this organization. I am blessed to have been raised by parents who value helping those in need. I’m so thankful that my talents and education let me help by running the website and Facebook. If you’ve been curious about Friar Suppliers, Haiti Pack, or just want to help people in a very direct and real way please reach out. We’d love your help!
My little sister and I probably playing volleyball or soccer at a Friar Suppliers Picnic
(Friars are the best athletes)
Packing food for Haiti with my friends as a kid
Me today having just graduated college