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A goal of her own
POULSBO — When Amanda Hancock flies out to Haiti in October, it will be her first time leaving North America. Her destination: Haiti.
However, the North Kitsap High School junior and JV soccer team captain won’t be vacationing. She will be joining a team of doctors and other volunteers with Friends of Haiti, working to provide support for a country marred by disaster.
“I’m a little nervous,” Hancock said of traveling outside the country. But nerves have not hindered her from preparing for the trip.
Amanda and the North Kitsap girls soccer team have collected supplies — mostly for children and teens — which will be shipped down with the Friends of Haiti group.
Michelle Knott, North Kitsap JV coach and owner of Poulsbo Compounding Pharmacy, donated vitamins to the cause.
The items collected will be transported alongside medical supplies.
More than 20 doctors will be traveling down to Haiti as well.
Amanda said the goal is “to get Haiti back on track” and helping the sick recover.
Amanda was encouraged to volunteer by her cousin, who volunteered with Friends last year. She said her cousin described the trip as “life changing.”
Amanda will be accompanied by her uncle, Dr. Devin Sawyer. Sawyer, who works in the St. Peter Family Medicine Residency Program in Olympia, takes two trips per year, Amanda said.
To go on the trip, Amanda worked at Taco Time in Poulsbo to afford a plane ticket ($750). She raised a total of $1,500 for the trip, she said.
The Friends of Haiti began in 2000, according to the organization’s website. The initial trip was to “extend friendship and support to the people of a fifth-world country.” The initial goal was to provide medical missions twice per year to St. Anne and its 11 chapels.
In 2004, Friends of Haiti became an independent entity, being able to accept donations.
Thomazeau is the largest village Friends of Haiti serves, according to the organization’s website. Thomazeau is about 24 miles from Port Au Prince. The population exceeds 52,000. Homes can be anything from stucco homes with multiple stories, to homes made with sticks and mud, according to the website.
North Kitsap soccer coach Chris May described Amanda as a “quiet leader.” As a goalie, she can be vocal, but only when she needs to.
“She’s a great gal,” May said. “She’s really special.”
If all falls into place, Amanda will volunteer on the next trip in April. That all depends on her school schedule and if she can raise enough money, she said.
The donations being made and collected by the North Kitsap girls soccer team is not all the team is involved in.
Last weekend, the team went to Fish Park to clear blackberry bushes.
On Oct. 11, the team will host its “Kick Pink” soccer game against Port Townsend at North Kitsap Stadium. The team will wear pink jerseys and play with pink soccer balls. Donations for the Susan G. Komen foundation will be accepted during the game. After, soccer balls will be autographed by the team and passed out to cancer survivors. Junior varsity plays at 5 p.m., varsity at 6:45 p.m.
Alternatively, donations can be made on the team's Susan G. Komen website.