As spring is just around the corner and flowers are doing their best to bloom, we have some new growth to announce as well. Hearts with Haiti would like to introduce Renee Dietrich, who will be our Communications and Sponsorship Director, and Lydia Cauley, who will be our Administrative Director. We are excited about the new ideas and energy they are bringing to the Hearts with Haiti family. Jeanette Fuccella, the current Executive Director, will be moving on to new and exciting opportunities in her life. The Hearts with Haiti and St. Joseph Family Boards thank her for her exceptional service and wish her blessings and success on all future endeavors, and look forward to seeing how God moves in her life. Keep an eye out for information about other new growth and exciting ideas from Renee and Lydia.
Thanks and Peace,
President – HwH Board
I have been involved with the St. Joseph Family since the day it started. My Mom met Michael and went to the first home the day after the work started in 1985. In 1987, I met Michael and the boys for the first time when they were in the United States on their first theater tour. In 1988, I made my first trip to Haiti and instantly fell in love with the country, the people, and the SJF. Over the next 14 years I traveled to Haiti once or twice a year, deepening my relationship with the SJF. In 2002, I left my job as a photojournalist to move to Haiti and work with the SJF full-time. I have had many titles over the years, and I perform many duties for the SJF. I am currently the Director of Communications and Development for the SJF. Some of my duties include communicating with benefactors and mission partner organizations, managing the sponsorship program, coordinating guest visits, provide SJF administrative assistance and fiscal management assistance. I also serve on the SJF Board of Directors as the secretary.
I will now also be working part-time for Hearts with Haiti as the Communications and Sponsorship Director. I have a long-term relationship with HWH and have worked with the organization for many years to facilitate their support of the SJF. I am happy about filling this role at HWH to become more active in raising the profile of HWH and the SJF and to expand our network of friends and supporters in the US.
I have a degree in journalism and a minor in art from the University of Iowa. I worked for 11 years as a reporter and photographer at newspapers in Iowa and Minnesota before I moved to Haiti. I have won numerous state and national awards for my photography and writing. I have published two photography books on Haiti.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. -Proverbs 16:9
In January of 2014, I drove to Charlotte to spend the night with an old friend. She had invited me on a mission trip with her church to Haiti to visit the St. Joseph Family. As we boarded the plane in Miami for Port-au-Prince, I was filled with excitement, nerves, and just a little bit of fear, but in my head, the words of a mentor resounded, “Being fearlessly faithful is not the absence of fear but the certainty that faithfulness will win.” The first stop on the trip was Wings of Hope, and with Steve’s jump for joy, Marhitza’s smile and squeals of joy as I pushed her on the swing (at the old home in Fermathe), and my experience helping feed Junior, I was in love. Since then I have been striving to be fearlessly faithful. Four years later God has brought me here, to be the Administrative Director of Hearts with Haiti.
I graduated from UNC-Asheville with a Bachelor’s in Drama in 2011. Following graduation I moved to Detroit, Michigan where I served as an AmeriCorps Volunteer for Boys Hope Girls Hope, an organization that provides stable homes, education, and financial and emotional support to at-risk children. After my life-changing experience in Detroit, I moved back home to North Carolina and began working in youth ministry within the local and conference levels of the United Methodist Church. In 2015 I graduated from Duke Divinity School with a Masters of Arts in Christian Practice. God continues to establish my steps, and I continue to strive to be fearlessly faithful.