Memories of aunt & uncle inspire Holy Spirit student’s passion for Haiti fundraiser | Diocese of Grand Rapids Catholic Schools Skip to main content

Memories of aunt & uncle inspire Holy Spirit student’s passion for Haiti fundraiser

December 19, 2019
Holy Spirit 8th grader Carter shows the type of water filter which students are buying for residents of Seguin, Haiti.

Every Advent at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Grand Rapids, students challenge each other to raise as much funds as they can to give water filters to people in Haiti. For one 8th grader named Carter, the fundraiser has a deeply personal meaning.

Carter’s Great Aunt Rita and Great Uncle Jim Cwengros traveled several times to Seguin, Haiti, as part of Holy Spirit’s sister-parish relationship with a church there. Tragically, Carter’s aunt and uncle gave their lives during a January 2013 mission trip. The brakes failed in the car they were using, causing it to crash over a cliff and down a mountainside. Two other missionaries, Matt Kutsche and Mary LaPonsie, also passed away.

Carter honors his aunt and uncle’s memory with his enthusiastic participation in the water filter fundraiser. Carter even encourages his other aunts and uncles to give, too!

Rita and Jim Cwengros

All told, the whole school collected over $4,300 this year, enough to buy 145 lifesaving water filters for Seguin residents.

Holy Spirit Catholic School educates more than 300 students in preschool through 8th grade. Learn more here.