“I thought about the water truck that we drove to City Soleil,” said Kerry Ann Williams. “Water was very dear in Haiti before the earthquake.”
That was one of the reasons that Williams, her friends and volunteers organized several fundraisers at UNC Pembroke in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.
Williams, a senior, staged two car washes and a Valentine’s Day candy sale and raised $600 for Healing Haiti, a mission group with a water truck and an orphanage.
“Service is how we show God’s love,” she said.
Just months before the earthquake, Williams spent two weeks of her holiday on a mission trip in Haiti. She helped deliver water to City Soleil, one of the poorest slums in one of the poorest places on earth.
“We delivered water because they don’t have clean water,” he said. “Healing Haiti’s orphanage is called Grace Village.
“We played with the children and brought them food and candy,” Williams said. “I’m a licensed cosmetologist, so I did their hair, while they did mine.
“It was hard, and I cried a few times,” she admits. “I grew up in Jamaica, so it was not so different.”
Williams, who wants to be a doctor, explained her ideas about saving lives and souls.
“If somebody is hurt or hungry, you can’t give them Jesus,” she said. “It takes more than religion to help people.
“It’s a holistic approach,” Williams said.
That is an approach that is working for her. She is double majoring in philosophy and religion and health promotions.
“I grew up in Jamaica, and it was good,” Williams said. “To get ahead, you go to America, so I was adopted.”
Williams graduated from Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville, N.C., but not before her adoptive mother died.
“I still communicate with my birth parents,” she said. “I’ve developed an independence thing.”
Williams has many friends and UNCP’s Center for Leadership and Service also answered her call to help Haiti. The center recruited volunteers and helped promote fundraisers.
“I’m going back in May,” she said. “I think I’m ready; I can handle anything now.”