Bengals give back bernard’s school in haiti gas efficient suv 2010

The RunGio Foundation had the help of Renewable Hope, a small Indiana-based Christian organization run by Crawford’s brother-in-law Tim Petty that has installed water purification systems in other impoverished countries such as Guyana, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. After all the digging and lifting and hammering and piping, when they finally opened the valve for the neighborhood Bernard stood spellbound as six or seven people carrying buckets and pushing wheelbarrows full of buckets formed a sudden line.

“That hit me hard to see how quickly they reacted to seeing clean water,” Bernard says. “I had to take a step back real quick to be able to see something like that happen. You can do stuff over here like a toy drive. You can do this, you can do that. But when you’re giving such an essential, thing in life, water, and you see how quickly these people need it and want it, it’s insane. It’s really cool to be able to do that. And to have the people there with me to experience that was pretty cool.”

Crawford brought his wife Megan, as well her brother Tim and father Stan Petty. Bernard brought his fiancé Cloe and while teammate Nick Vigil wanted to go only girlfriend Savannah was able to make it because he had to stay back in Cincinnati to rehab his ankle.

LaMorris Crawford, 38, was enough for ten couples on his second visit to Haiti and first in 10 years since a week-long mission included a stint teaching English and math. If there’s anyone who knows how to beat poverty and hopelessness, he proved his grace and grit getting out of the south side of Chicago.

He never knew his father, his mother was killed when he was ten months old and even though his grandmother raised him he was in a gang and selling crack in junior high. Basketball and Jesus saved him. He was so good in one the gang told him to focus on his game and he played all four years. The other was so good that it transformed his life.

“It’s a place where broken people long for hope and if you go there with the heart to want to help you will never be the same,” Crawford says of Haiti but it could have been the south side. “Poverty doesn’t discriminate on U.S. soil or abroad. I think poverty is a mindset. Poverty does occur when basic needs are not met. The heroes in my neighborhood were drug dealers. I didn’t have Gios in my neighborhood.”

They got some help on the ground when they arrived and that included from Mami Grand. Josette’s mom. Princillia Vernet. Bernard’s grandmother. Mami Grand. You can see how he got his infectious-life-is-going-to-be-good smile from his mom’s side. When she served dinner to the crew from Cincy, they could see where Bernard gets his third-down energy.

Bernard’s father, Yvens, now 58, arrives in Florida from a different part of Haiti after spending three tense days in a small boat packed with about 20 people. He meets Josette when he gets over here and both are working at IBM. He builds a dry cleaning business not once, but twice. First when he meets Josette and then after he loses Josette, when he also loses everything but his kids. After he beats poverty a second time, he’s able to sell the business and contemplate retirement.

The day the youngest of their two sons is drafted by the NFL, Yvens is running Regal Cleaners in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area, taking it over from the former owner with no down payment and holding it down with just himself and a cousin of Giovani’s.

That’s the single-mindedness Giovani Bernard is bringing to the school in the garden. The next trip is reserved for a playground. With the school growing from 20 to 60 students to who knows what, the goal is three buildings, a courtyard, and that playground. They’ve got one more building to go. But getting things done in Haiti?