Knoxville student returns from Haiti days before earthquake

Knoxville student returns from Haiti days before earthquake


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- For the past four years, students at Knoxville Catholic High School have been part of Club Haiti. The club's mission is to help the people in that country.

Many of the students have taken mission trips there.

One freshman, Sophie Racey, went to Haiti for the first time in January.

"You really get off the plane and you're in a whole different world," she said. "You have to relearn how to do everything. You got to relearn how to brush your teeth, and how to go to sleep."

Racey went to Haiti on January fourth, and returned on the eighth, four days before the earthquake hit.

"At first, I was really angry because these people have so little," said Racey. "Then what they did have was taken away, and now they have absolutely nothing."

Racey went on the trip with her father and grandmother. 

Her father is a member of Sacred Heart Cathedral's Haiti Outreach Program, and coordinates all missions to Haiti. 

"The worst of this has not happened yet, not by a long stretch," said Racey's father, Deacon Patrick Murphy-Racey. "I'm really concerned about the next week in terms of violence because people are going to move from sadness, and shock, and to real anger that no one is helping or help isn't coming sooner than it has."    

He has traveled to Haiti ten times, and really wanted his daughter to see the people there first-hand.

"There are certainly a lot of risks of taking anyone to Haiti, but really wanted my daughter to see what I see there," he said. "I wanted her to encounter a beautiful people that in amidst of the poverty have incredible dignity and power."

Murphy-Racey was planning to take a group of students to Haiti for spring break, but that might not happen now.

Patrick and Sophie just hope families can dig deep, and help the people they care so much about.    
"My dad tells me that there are no two countries that need each other more than the United States and Haiti," said Racey. "Because they have everything we are missing and we have everything the need. Why wouldn't you give to people who desperately need what you have?"

"Its not a matter of writing one check," said Murphy-Racey. "It is going to be a matter of giving up going out to eat, maybe a movie a month, to be able to provide a constant stream of cash flow and aide to Haiti."

To learn more about Sacred Heart Cathedral's Haiti Outreach Program click here.

To find out more about the Racey's current trip to Haiti, you can click on their blog here.

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