Hope Strengthens Foundation supporter, U.S. Marine Corps Captain Bryan O’Neil, has scheduled some well-deserved leave this upcoming April. For most, a vacation from service would present an opportunity to step back from the high operational tempo a Marine is required to maintain on a daily basis.
Not for Captain O’Neil. Instead, he chose to use his leave to embark on a mission trip to serve disabled children in the Dominican Republic, in conjunction with St. Thomas More Parish in his hometown of Narragansett, RI. Hope Strengthens Foundation is proud to provide the baseline funding required to support Captain O’Neil’s participation on this important mission.
Mustard Seed Communities (MSC) is the organizer of the mission. They began in Jamaica in 1978 and expanded to Dominican Republic in 2001 to meet the needs of children with physical and mental disabilities, many of whom were abandoned. Hogar Immanuel, MSC’s home in DR, is located in the small town of Cangrejo just outside of Puerto Plata. There are currently twenty children with disabilities living at Hogar Immanuel. Eight of the children attend physical therapy, occupational therapy and special education daily.
Expansion began in early 2013 and will double the capacity of the home upon completion. A majority of Captain O’Neil’s projects around the facility will be related to painting, building repair and updates, as well as landscaping and agricultural projects. The remainder of the time will be spent interacting with the children and celebrating daily mass.
We encourage you to take a moment to view this brief video collage of images featuring recent mission trips to the Dominican Republic.
Captain O’Neil will be keeping notes during his mission, documenting his personal experiences throughout the trip. He has graciously offered to share those notes with us and our supporters.
By way of his selfless dedication to make a positive difference in the lives of others, Captain O’Neil is clearly upholding the U.S. Marine Corps core values of honor, courage, and commitment. Needless to say, we are humbled call him a friend and supporter.