When Cortney Shepard visited Haiti in 2007, she was frustrated by the constraints of her medical mission.
I saw a starving infant, she said. She most likely wasnt going to make it. And there was nothing we could do.
It was a helpless feeling, and Shepard, then a student at the University of Saint Francis, was determined to do away with it. So she started a campus group called Formula for Life to raise money to feed Haitis hungry children.
On Sunday, the group held its fourth annual 5K run/walk and silent auction – a fundraiser for the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Orphanage in Plaisance, Haiti.
More than 400 people participated in the event, breaking attendance records and raising more than $8,000 to use for formula and other food.
Shepard graduated in 2010, passing the baton to other student leaders.
Junior Amanda Pedro, who co-organized the event this year, will visit the orphanage in May along with a faculty adviser professor Amy Obringer to drop off toddler protein packs, vitamins and other items.
The supplies should feed about 23 children for a year, she said. While there, shell also be assessing the orphanages other needs.
Pedro said she decided to take a leading role in the event after visiting the orphanage last year.
I really fell in love with Haiti, she said. I was struck by how grateful the children were.
Shepard said one of the most rewarding parts of starting the organization has been seeing the change in the orphanage, which she discovered through one of Obringers contacts.
Children who looked on the verge of starving to death years ago now look strong and healthy in pictures, she said.
Its been really humbling, and great to see the community come together, she said. When I started this, I never thought wed be feeding an entire orphanage in four years.