By Derek Zitko

The 2:42 On The Move mission team expresses a huge “Thank You” for the support you provided through shoe donations, craft donations and other assistance to the Haitian people with whom we visited in early August.  We were overwhelmed by the care and generosity of the community. We received so many donations at our homes, at our offices, at TnT Smoothies and at Pediatric Surgery Center, that we were able to take 15 large boxes of items to a community greatly in need.

Yet even as we were seeking to bring gifts and a whole lot of love to our new friends, we found out something wonderful about the Haitian people. Although they certainly have third-world needs, they just as certainly have first-class hearts.  Basing ourselves in the vicinity of the village of Kenscoff, we spent seven days sharing not only these gifts, but ourselves as well, in teaching, playing, hugging and smiling our way into the lives of some amazing children. Team member Abby Rothrock said, “As we watched a child receive a ball, a pair of shoes or even a cheap bracelet with plastic beads, it was like seeing ten ‘Christmas mornings’ for a child in our suburban community.”  Even more, the kids were just as overjoyed to simply play soccer with us on their makeshift field, or to sing songs with us, or to sit and read out of our Bibles in English. They certainly confirmed what I think we all know deep down; any and every person can be connected to another, regardless language or class or race or location, through smiles and laughter and love if we’ll just be willing to commit ourselves to that connection.

As for our 13 team members, this is just the beginning.  We would love to see our community continue to partner as a “sister city” with Kenscoff, a village located about an hour’s drive up into the mountains from Port Au Prince.  Its people have so many “needs” and so few “wants” – as we are a community with so few “needs” and so many “wants”, we could certainly make a huge difference in the lives of so many people.

Again, our team and our new Haitian friends greatly appreciate your generosity.  As team member Tracy Erwin said, “The hearts of the people of the Fishhawk and Brandon communities were definitely connected to the hearts of the people in Kenscoff, Haiti”.  The Bible says in Romans 10:15, “How beautiful are the feet that bring good news”.  Well, now I can also say, “How beautiful are the feet that received your good shoes!”

If you would like more information, please contact Derek at  If you’d like more information about 2:42 OTM, please contact Kody Kirchhoff at


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.