Humanitarian services extend from Tangipahoa to Kenya
The research and documentation of local family histories aren’t the only humanitarian services that Louisiana native Antoinette Harrell offers. Recently, her work to assisted a village in Kenya.
The research and documentation of local family histories aren’t the only humanitarian services that Louisiana native Antoinette Harrell offers.
From the Mississippi Delta to rural communities in Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes, and even internationally, her humanitarian work has reached and changed the lives of hundreds of people.
She has made contributions to African American women’s history, activism, and race relations by helping families in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes, Tangipahoa and St. Helena with genealogical research. She has organized donations of boxes of vegetables, seeds, and educational supplies for families in Ghana.
Recently, she has extended her humanitarian work to assist a village in Kenya.
The process began with a phone call requesting Bibles in Swahili, the country’s official language. She agreed to do whatever she could. In her social media postings, Harrell asked her four thousand plus followers to donate funds to purchase Bibles. She planned to send 15 Bibles to the village. In US currency, each Bibles cost ten dollars.
Donations began coming in from throughout the United States with many coming from Tangipahoa and St. Helena parish residents.
Harrell collected enough funds to purchase 33 Bibles, 200 pounds of beans, and 198 pounds of rice and millet. School fees for orphans attending the Heartbright School were paid with the remaining donations.
She and Pastor Anthony Tineaga wept tears of joy. “Our prayers have been answered,” said Tinega who drove one hour to pick up the Bibles and food after Harrell purchased them directly from the Christian Bible store and the supermarket.
She was so transparent with her donors that she provided pictures and receipts to show where donations went.
“When I called upon residents throughout Tangipahoa parish where I live, they didn’t hesitate to help. Their generous donations and outpouring of love has helped thousands,” Harrell said. “All over the United States, people are aware of this mission work and they support it without hesitation.”
Harrell said she knows she would not have been able to succeed without the help of the people and businesses. “The number of people and businesses supporting these efforts throughout the years is simply too great,” she said.
Harrell has dedicated decades of her life to helping others. “It’s a sacrifice I have to make to help put food on someone table or pay the school fees for children who would otherwise not be able to attend school,” said Harrell. “In this country, we sometimes take things for granted, and this reminds me to count my blessings no matter what, since someone is worse off than me.”
She lives by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “I can help somebody as I pass along. If I can cheer somebody with a word or a song. If I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong. Then my living will not be vain.”
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