Rick Bergh has been featured previously on Reading Recommendations, first in March 2016 and again in April. He’s back now to tell us how it is that his children’s books are now being read by Haitian children!
How Our Children’s Books Ended Up in Haiti
I love how life surprises us when we least expect it.
My wife, Erica, and I had completed two of our children’s books and brought them to our annual Boxing Day gathering – a wonderful family tradition on my mother’s side, which I have not missed in 56 years.
My cousin, Mark, purchased a few copies of these books (after all, you expect your family to buy your books, right?).
Little did I know those children’s books would find their way to an orphanage in Haiti! All the way from Calgary, Alberta!
Maybe you’re thinking, “That’s no big deal …” But it was for me. Let me explain.
Over ten years ago, my daughter, Keeara, went to volunteer at the very same orphanage – she was an 18-year-old girl trying to figure out her next step in life. Her time in Haiti coincided with her mom’s struggle with cancer. So the whole family was in transition and wondering what the future would hold.
Pam, her mom, said “Keeara, go and volunteer at this orphanage.” She did and it changed her life forever. She became an elementary school teacher as a result.
Fast forward 11 years and my cousin’s daughter, Emily, is now volunteering at the same orphanage. We did not make the connection until I asked Emily what orphanage she was going to and it was the exact same one where Keeara had worked.
WOW! So, now Emily is reading these stories to the children – the same stories that I made up and told to my children, including Keeara. Our next book due to be published soon is actually about Keeara (Stretchy Cheese Pizza) and her son, Connor.
And now Emily was reading these same stories I told our children when they lay in bed asking me to tell them a story. Fascinating that it was not long ago when an 18-year-old-Keeara was reading books to these special children in Haiti. And now, they will soon be reading stories about her and her son, Connor.
We are sending copies over for the children in Haiti to read as soon as the new book is published in June. The stories come full circle!