I can't believe it's already been three years. Feels like yesterday.
I was blessed to be able to go on my first mission trip with my fellow Lynn
University peers with Food for the Poor, Inc. in Spring 2009 in Jamaica. It was so humbling to see poverty at such an extent, meanwhile witnessing how content and happy people were. It was a time in which God definitely showed himself to me and reaffirmed my burden & passion to help the poor and needy. A lifestyle of service to others was taken to a whole new level. I remember arriving to a senior citizens home and saw that the place was falling apart. The buildings, yard, furniture, basic medical supplies or lack thereof was evident and in horrible shape.
But the residents were so warm. The smiles that lit their faces when they saw us…I can’t explain, but they had such a blessed presence about them that in a way gave you peace, joy & hope. But as you could imagine, I was indeed thinking: How?
I came across an elderly woman in her very small and cramped room; she had a bible and a cross, so I felt let to ask if I could pray for her. She immediately stopped me and said “No, let me pray for you, I want and need to pray for you guys.”
I broke down. Her prayer asking God to use us, bless us, anoint us and protect
us, meanwhile her being her predicament was so beautiful and humbling. A reminder that at the end of the day “things,” “stuff,”, “status,” due indeed not mean a thing. That we are connected all our human beings and we were created to need, love and help one another.
Upon our arrival Students for the Poor a student led & based organizations went straight to work to tell their stories, testimonies and plans of actions. The fire and spirit that brewed on campus and the greater Florida area was so remarkable. Between schools being built, other mission trips to other third world countries being planned and fundraisers a generation of students, staff, families and children were literally changing lives every day. Stephanie Crispinelli, in particular was determined to change what she saw. Period.
At the end of my sophomore year in December 2009, due to personal reasons, I
decided to make that my final semester at Lynn & move back home to New
York. Who know that just 3 weeks later the group of students who were my
friends, peers & Professors who went to a mission trip to Haiti entitled:
Journey of Hope- would be faced with one of the worst natural disasters in
On Tuesday, Jan. 12, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook Port-au-Prince, Haiti where twelve Lynn University students and two professors were for a January Term course entitled, “Journey of Hope to Haiti.” The Lynn University group was staying at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. Eight of the Lynn University students returned home after the quake, but four students and two professors were lost. Source: lynn.edu/Haiti
We celebrate the extraordinary lives of the six members of our Lynn family who
selflessly devoted themselves to a greater good. They will serve as an
inspiration to all and will be missed, but not forgotten.
- Stephanie Crispinelli
- Courtney Hayes
- Britney Gengel
- Christine Gianacaci
- Patrick Hartwick
- Richard Bruno
It’s been great to be apart
& see the legacy live on:
The Stephanie Crispinelli Humanitarian
Fund was created and based right here out of Westchester County. So far the organization has brought Stephs joy to numerous efforts and built 3 schools, 4th one this summer.
The Be Like Brit Foundation was created and just opened there Orphanage in Haiti.
Christine’s Hope for Kids focuses on support local community agencies that work with and benefit children.
Everyone lost and perished will forever be in my heart. God is with you. May his peace be with you till we meet again.