Detroit teens volunteer on missionary trip to Haiti

Two Detroit teens volunteered through the Hands of Light in Action.


Some young Detroiters have been volunteering to help other young people in need overseas. They collected shoes, clothing and soccer balls for children in Haiti and got to deliver them in person.

As kids head back to school from summer break, Jaylen Stafford and Michael Len Kelly, Jr.  will share their experience of a lifetime with their classmates.

"We built a pulpit for the pastor and we built 11 church pews," Kelly said.

"We built a concrete floor, we had a health clinic," Stafford said.

They went to Haiti as volunteers through the Hands of Light in Action organization, a nonprofit organization that does missionary work not only in the U.S. but around the globe.

Stafford, who collected soccer balls and shoes to take over to Haiti, says this missionary trip will be the first of many for him.

"It opened a lot of doors for me," he said. "And I realize a lot of people need help in other places."

The organization's leader wanted to take teens on this missionary trip because she says many young Detroiters don't have an opportunity to see the world.

"We were sleeping in a tent and hauling our own water - it gives them a different dimension," said Nancy Malone. "It gives them confidence that they can even go and present a passport."

Teens like Kelly had never been out of the country and had never been on an airplane.

"I thought it was going to be scary, but it felt great," Kelly said.

Organizers from Hands of Light in Action are already planning a trip to Haiti for next year and they're asking for your help so they can take more Detroit teens to volunteer.

"We sure could use some help establishing some kind of a fund for these youths," Malone said.

And not only let their hard work make a difference in the lives of Haitians but establishes friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime.

"They're just my brothers," Kelly said. "I don't want to cry, but I miss them."

To contribute to Hands of Light in Action or to learn more, CLICK HERE for its Facebook page.


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