Salem Five And Its Customers Build More Homes for the Needy in Haiti

October 2017

From September 29 to October 2, 2017, Mark was joined by many of his talented customers to build two homes in Grand Goave, Haiti for families with young children. This work was facilitated by the Be Like Brit Orphanage in Haiti, and Bank customers Len and Cherylann Gengel.

This was Mark's fifth visit to Haiti. He previously worked on construction projects to wire the electrical system at the orphanage and to install its solar heating system. Over the past three years, he has assembled teams to build homes for needy and deserving families living near the orphanage in Grand Goave.

The Salem Five team of 11 individuals this year set a record of building two 12' by 12' homes in just two days, including concrete slab floors. The Salem Five Charitable Foundation purchased the materials for one home, and Salem Five customer Dave Smith, owner of Graystone Builders of Strafford, NH, paid for the second home. (Dave Smith has already purchased materials for a third home, and we recognize and commend his generosity). All team members paid for their own transportation to Haiti.

"I was so proud of this team of quality people who care about the less fortunate," Mark said, following the successful venture. "This speaks to the caliber of customers that we have at Salem Five, and we appreciate them not only for their business relationship but for their incredible generosity and talents."

Joining the team were Tim Ford, President of Ford Properties, Inc. of Ipswich and Hamilton; Joe Carr of Carr Development Corporation, York, ME; John Marsh and Don Poyant of Eastward Companies in Chatham, MA; Dave Kindred of Kindred Homes in North Andover, MA; Steve Webby of Jeneve Corp. of Plymouth, MA; and Harry Blackey of Stow, MA; all long-time customers of Salem Five. In addition, they were joined by Dolan Geneau, Kyle Vogt, and Mark's brother, Hirsh Leff.

Returning for their second visit to Be Like Brit were Dave Kindred, John Marsh, and Harry Blackey.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The team built one home for a security guard at the Be Like Brit Orphanage and his young family. A second home was built for a mom with five children. Once the home is built, a prayer is offered and Mark Leff and Harry Blackey turned over keys to the new homeowners.

"Together we have made a small difference in the world, but a tremendous difference to these two families," Mark said.

On previous trips, Salem Five has paid for a home donated to a caregiver at the orphanage, and to a construction worker, Oskar, who is raising four younger brothers. Oskar was excited to see our team again, and was part of the Haitian construction crew that worked hand-in-hand with the Salem Five team.

"Our builders create beautiful, luxurious homes for their customers here in New England, yet they are eager to experience the most wonderful feeling of providing needed, basic shelter for a family in Haiti," Mark said. "These small homes are as important to them as any they have built in their successful careers."