Assumption Student-Athletes Travel to Haiti to Help Impoverished Children

Jan 07, 2019

Four members of the Assumption women’s soccer team are traveling this month to help impoverished children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, as part of the Hands Together organization. The students are senior Nikki Brady of Rockland, Mass.; junior Meg Campbell of Springfield, Mass.; junior Katie Bealka of East Freetown, Mass.; and first-year student Nikki Sloan of Stow, Mass.

Springfield, Mass.-based Hands Together is a nonprofit organization devoted to educating, inspiring and encouraging people to understand the importance of responding to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. The organization has several project locations, including Hands Together Catholic Schools.

Campbell—whose father, Doug Campbell is executive director of Hands Together—introduced the idea of a trip to Haiti to Assumption Women’s Soccer Head Coach Kevin Meek and the rest of the team. She has traveled there several times to help the children served by the organization.

“It’s had a profound effect on me and expanded my view of the world and of people,” Meg Campbell said of her experiences in Haiti. “Assumption is quite small and relatively protected, and I know that there is a world out there that is not at all like Assumption.

“This trip is a chance for my teammates and me to share a little bit of soccer, to encourage the young women at the Haiti School, and to listen and learn from them, too,” she explained. “For me, I just love seeing the young students get so excited at the Christmas parties we run—ecstatic to get a little stuffed animal, some juice, and a cookie. It is the only gift they will get all year.”

Doug Campbell reached out to Coach Meek and suggested the players come to Haiti to promote girls’ soccer while training the high school students. Ultimately, the organization plans to design a program for this purpose, following the expected May 2015 completion of the high school’s artificial turf field construction.

Meg Campbell, Brady, Bealka and Sloan will leave this month for Haiti. The trip is designed to introduce the women’s soccer program to service in Haiti as well as prepare for a longer trip this summer.

In December 2013, Campbell traveled to Haiti to assist with the coordination and execution of Christmas parties for approximately 5,000 children at Hands Together schools. Brady, Bealka and Sloan will join Campbell this year in overseeing eight school Christmas parties.