What does it mean to be a “Britsionary”? Being a Britsionary means different things to everyone, but in essence it means you are continuing the compassion of Britney Gengel. Britsionarys travel to Haiti and work side-by-side with Haitian workers and interact with the children at BLB - to achieve a common goal - to fulfill Britney's last wish to help the children of Haiti.
Our Britsionarys have diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills yet they are able to work together to help bring hope to the children of Britney's orphanage. In our past trips, we have had students, nurses, social workers, teachers, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters - and everyone has played an essential role in building the orphanage and making our children feel deserving of love. We have also been blessed to have skilled tradespeople such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians donate their time and teach their Haitian counterparts their skills and techniques.
Our Britsionary Program was created to provide an opportunity for volunteers to gain a better understanding of global partnerships and cultures. Short-term Britsionary groups take a 1 week service trip to the Be Like Brit Orphanage in Haiti, to help with youth and community outreach projects and immerse themselves in the beautiful Haitian culture. This program gives young adults an opportunity to enhance their understanding of poverty and development while also broadening their global perspective. For non-medical Britsionarys, the mornings are spent building a home for a family in need in our community, and the afternoons are spent doing programatic activities with the children (field trips, coloring, games, learning activities, etc.). For medical Britsionarys, the mornings and some afternoons are spent working in the BLB or local public clinic, and the remaining time is spent with the children and the Britsionary group.
About Be Like Brit
In many ways, Britney Gengel of Rutland Massachusetts was a typical 19-year-old young woman, but her humor, passion and deep sense of caring for those less fortunate made her memorable to all who met her. It was her compassion for others that brought Britney to Haiti on January 11, 2010, just a day before a catastrophic earthquake claimed an estimated 230,000 lives and rocked the small, poverty-stricken country. Britney had spent the day visiting a Haitian orphanage where she and fellow students of Lynn University, met the Haitian orphans they had traveled so far to help. Just a few hours later, Britney, three of her fellow students, and two Lynn University professors lost their lives in the rubble of the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince. Britney was missing for 33 days before her remains were recovered.
Fortunately, Britney’s dream did not die with her. Only hours before the earthquake, Britney sent a text message to her family that read:
“They love us so much and everyone is so happy.
These forty words would sustain Britney’s family through the tragedy and, ultimately, serve as the driving force behind the establishment of Be Like Brit and the decision to build an orphanage in Grand Goâve for the children of Haiti. The mission of the Be Like Brit is “to serve the children of Haiti by establishing a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage in an environment where they can grow, learn and thrive.” Be Like Brit Foundation, Inc. is an official U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, tax ID #27-1857525.