A group of five volunteers from St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh, NC, spent a week with us completing many maintenance projects. St. Michael’s has been sending teams to Holy Cross every year since its first operation. In 2020, just before the pandemic hit, nearly 20 persons had signed up and were ready to come for two weeks over spring break. Many items from the wish list were gathered, airline reservations made, even hotel and ground transportation were finalized. Unfortunately, just 14 days before the trip there was a Covid-19 lockdown and the trip was canceled. This resulted in many sad volunteers and a lot of work to get refunds from the airline and making arrangements with the hotel.
About a year later once the vaccine had started to become available and things started to open, consideration for a return was made. In March 2021 the decision was made to send a smaller team during summer 2021, after looking into details planning for a trip in July 2021 started.
Once the decision was made the church offered the month of April as “Belize donations month”, which they typically do every year to collect supplies from the wish list. Since they already had the donations, this turned into a fundraising event to help raise the funds needed to complete the cistern. The fundraising was done online, and they donated the funds for the cistern and even funds to buy construction supplies for school maintenance.
In the week spent at Holy Cross these volunteers were able to complete many tasks, including organizing the literacy part of the library since a big part of the donated items were literacy supplies. They also worked very hard on external maintenance like repairing walls, continued work on the priest's house and activities associated with the cistern and landfill.