Finding hope and compassion in these times can be difficult. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and violent protests in the wake of George Floyd's death unfold in front of our eyes on TV and online, it's easy fall into a mindset of hopelessness. That it's every man, woman, and child for themselves. But, as we've seen time and time again, there are those in our community who are providing that hope. Reminding us that we're all human, and when there are those of us who can't help ourselves, it's up to the rest of us to reach out and extend a helping hand. Whether that's in our own community, or another part of the world.

9-year-old C.J. Martin, inspired by his dad's trips to Haiti, is asking for our help in providing food to a community who needs it.

During those trips, C.J.'s dad, Chad Martin, met and befriended Dr. Leo Bertulien. According to Chad, Dr. Leo has "dedicated his life to serving the poor and answering a call of Christ." That service includes trying to rebuild a fish farm that was damaged during the massive 7.0 earthquake that rocked the island of Haiti in 2010. Before sustaining damage that made the farm nearly inoperable, the 21 tank farm was used to raise tilapia that ultimately became food for residents who struggle to have a consistent food source, including over 1,000 children.

As you can see in the video below Chad recently shared on his Facebook page, the earthquake caused cracks to form in the concrete tanks which prevented them from holding water. Despite Dr. Leo and his team's efforts to patch the cracks, the problem still remains. Each tank will require new concrete to be poured in order for them to be operable again.

However, the cracks aren't the only issue. The earthquake, and general aging, have left the pipes that continuously carry water to the tanks useless, requiring all of them to be replaced.

That's where C.J. and Chad hope you can help.

The father-son team have created Haiti Fish Project through St. Joe Catholic Church, and are currently accepting donations to help Dr. Leo and his team get the tanks up and running consistently again. When running at full capacity, the farm can raise over 20,000 fish a year.

Donations can be mailed to the following address:

St. Joseph Catholic Church
6202 W St Joseph Road
Evansville, IN 47720

Best of luck C.J. and Chad, and thank you for showing all of us there is still hope and compassion left in the world.

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