As you know, at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM we live to deliver smiles, which is why we wanted to share this smile-worthy story from one of our special franchise flower shops!
1-800-Flowers | Evergreen owners Charlie and Joan Moran have been running Friar Suppliers for over 15 years, a nonprofit serving the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. As part of their work, they have organized and orchestrated faith-based missions to help Haiti’s poor since 2003.
After the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake, the group stepped up its work. In a weeklong trip the following June, its members rebuilt the collapsed roof of a church, provided 312 families with food and ran a medical clinic that treated more than 200 people.
Charlie has continued his work with Friar Suppliers to help the poor in Haiti ever since, delivering, food, supplies, and even toys and sport supplies for the children on annual trips to the country.
Congratulations to Charlie and Joan for going the extra mile in their mission to help people smile, not only at home, but also abroad!
Newsday Article from 2011:
There is no car in Charlie Moran’s Lindenhurst garage. There is no lawn mower or other household equipment. Instead, the room is filled nearly to capacity with 56 suitcases of varying colors, shapes and sizes, stuffed with everything from medical supplies and carpentry tools to food and games. Lollipops alone fill two cases, deflated soccer balls another.
To some, the collection may appear to be nothing more than clutter. But for people living at the epicenter of last year’s earthquake in Haiti, the contents of Moran’s garage may soon mean a better life.
Moran, 58, is leaving Thursday with those 56 suitcases on a 10-day mission to Carrefour, Haiti, aiming to feed and provide medical care to the poor and put new roofs on 160 houses devastated in the quake. Moran, who owns Evergreen Florist in Lindenhurst, coordinated the trip through Friar Suppliers, a nonprofit serving the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.
Moran and his wife, Joan, 58, have been running the organization for 14 years and going on faith-based missions to help Haiti’s poor since 2003.
From Friar Suppliers Website (Charlie’s Charity):
Our Mission in Haiti
Haiti and Fr Benedict Groeschel …
A few days after the earthquake hit Haiti I sent Fr Benedict an update letter about what we had been doing in Haiti for all of 2009. Upon receipt of my letter he called me to find out what I had plans to do being that the damage was so great. I explained my mission and explained that we would up the number of shipments. The following week he called me back again and said that he had been thinking about Friar Suppliers and told me that he would be making an announcement on his Sunday night broadcast asking his TV audience to please help us. On the TV show he just asked his audience to please send money. Within the first 3 days almost 750.00 came in. I was shocked but pleased and I’ll explain why in this letter. His faithful audience has been continuing to send checks. I have decided to add them to our Friar Supplier mailing list so that they can read about what we do, who we are and how they can continue to help. In order to do this, I need to back up to 2003 to explain this so readers will see that we just did not start this mission in January 2010 but that it goes back to 2003.
In 2003 I was asked to go to Haiti with 3 Friars. Our mission would be to go down for a “Look and See”. We wanted to evaluate to see how we could help on a long term basis. We traveled first to Fort Lauderdale, Fl with “Food for the Poor.” They showed us films and explained how bad the poverty was in Haiti and explained how we need to act toward the people. They explained that EVERYONE would be begging for us to help them and that we need to just smile and be compassionate. We traveled around Haiti for 4 days visiting different Hospitals, Schools, Hospices, Churches and we met with the Pastor of St Louis Roi de France Parish. The parish is run by the Montfort Fathers. It is their main house for Haiti so the compound is very large and can accommodate about 30 extra guests at a time. The Pastor at that time was Fr Roland. He explained his needs and we just listened for almost an hour. The things he talked about were so sad. He had 2 schools and 1 needed a lot of repair work. The school had no running water in it. That meant no bathrooms. Water for the kitchen had to be trucked up the hill by jeep just so that they could make lunch for the kids!
After praying about how we could help them, it was decided that the following summer we would go to Haiti and rebuild the school, put in a proper bathroom and kitchen and also add a medical clinic. Our group consisted of 5 Friars, 2 Franciscan Sisters and 10 lay- people including my 2 sons, Peter and Shaun. We went for 15 days and did everything that we set out to do plus a little more. All who went enjoyed the trip even though it was summer and it was well over 100 degrees everyday and we had no air conditioning. On the last day of our trip, the Doctor who was going to be running the medical clinic pulled me aside and asked for medicine on a very regular basis. Here I was exhausted from this trip and she was now asking me to help her on a regular basis. After many rosaries, and door after door opening up, within a year, we were shipping medicine to her regularly. They would send me lists and Friar Suppliers would beg for medicine, dental supplies and over the counter medicine from everyone we knew. Shipping cost have always been a problem because shipping one barrel to Haiti cost $150.00. Sounds like a lot but when you figure that I but about $4000.00 worth of food , medicine , school supplies and other items into it, it is not really that much. In the beginning we were shipping 5 barrels a month. I was thrilled and so were they. For the next 5 years, we just continued sending, food medicine school supplies and other items to the Parish. We had built up an ever-lasting bond. Even though the Pastors had changed 4 times through the years each Pastor always made an effort to come visit me when they would come to New York. After the hurricanes in 2008 that did a lot of damage, I felt that it was time to go back again. This time it would be a Food and Medical mission. We had 5 Friars, 4 nurses and 4 laypeople scheduled to go on this trip. My daughter Grace, age 18, was going this time. For 4 months I begged for money, medicine and other needed items. I needed someone to pay for the Friars airfares plus we had to pay to stay at the Parish. They could not afford to feed us because they are poor parish. The morning of the trip, I had a seizure and could not go. I was devasted. My daughter Grace came to the rescue. She very quickly took over. After all she had listened to me talk about this trip for 4 months- morning, noon and night. She would call me each night from Haiti and tell me what happened and asked my opinions. I could not have been prouder.
Her love for the poor was developing and it made me cry. Fr Benedict called me during the trip because he knew I couldn’t go. He told me that in order for a mission trip to be successful, someone had to suffer. After much prayer I realized that I was the one who had to stay home and suffer. And suffer I did. I was in depression for about 3 months. It was really hard on my wife Joan because she had to run our Florist plus deal with me asking constantly WHY ME?
While the group was in Haiti, they met a Fr Destin Leandre who is the Community servant for the Brothers of St Theresa of Liseaux. It is a Haitian order that has about 100 Brothers. The group visited their school and medical clinic and all became friends with them. My daughter Grace, asked if we could help them, so we did. We started shipping them medical, school supplies and other items. We were their first “American” benefactor and they were shocked when their first shipment from Friar Suppliers was 15 barrels! They emailed me immediately thanking us for all the items. They were so appreciative, that we decided to help them all the time.
After the earthquake hit, Fr Benedict wanted to know our plans. It was decided that we would help both St Louis roi de France parish and also the Brothers of St Theresa of Liseaux. Fr Benedict wanted me to assure him that it would be on a very regular basis. I told him that my plans are to ship bi-weekly. The boat that leaves for Haiti leaves every other week. I did not want to ask the Ladies and Men that help pack food for Friar Suppliers each month because I was afraid of “wearing them out” Instead, I asked Louise Perrotta and Lois Schrader both of Lindenhurst if they could gather their friends on Saturdays to repack 1000 lbs of rice and beans into quart size bags to be given out to the poor at these 2 parishes. These woman and their friends have been doing a great job and the food is arriving to the parish. It takes 3 weeks to get to Haiti from New York and then 2 more weeks in Customs, but then the shipping company I use, delivers it right to the parish. That’s the best part- I can tell you that the money you send me goes right to the poor in Haiti. We have no overhead! Your whole gift goes to buy food to give to the poor. We will continue to purchase and ship rice and beans each week. The poor of Haiti need us. I thank you for all your gifts large and small. Without your help I can’t continue! And Father Benedict wants me to continue. Could you say no if Fr Benedict Groeschel asked you to help him?
Jesus, we trust in you,