SCOTCH PLAINS – Last month, two Union Catholic clubs, Project Haiti and the French Club, joined forces to conduct their second annual coffee house.
Project Haiti, moderated by Kim Leegan, began three years ago as an ongoing social justice project to benefit fair trade coffee growers in Haiti, and the French Club, moderated by Kamila Ciringione, joined the effort last year since the official language of Haiti is French. The idea behind the coffee house was for students to learn about Haiti and its poverty, to raise awareness about the suffering that the Haitians are enduring because of the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, and to encourage support of the Haitian economy through the Fair Coffee Trade.
Julia Hayes, an incoming freshman to Union Catholic and current student at Holy Spirit, spoke to all in attendance about her own experiences in Haiti. Her aunt opened three orphanages in Haiti, which Hayes and her family have been to numerous times to offer assistance. Hayes and her family provided a video and loaned the school pictures of recent trips to Haiti to put on display. D
uring the Coffee House, faculty member Don Frio performed an original song called “The Human Race,” a song he was inspired to write and record about Haiti after the earthquake. Numerous students also performed during the event. Students were able to sample the Haitian coffee and learn about the fair coffee trade. Students could purchase a chance to win a coffee lover’s basket.