Spring Hill group works to help restore Haiti - WSMV Channel 4

Spring Hill group works to help restore Haiti

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Poverty and natural disasters have devastated Haiti, but one local group is working to get the people of Haiti back on their feet with a little pedal action.

Robert Carlyon is training for a mountain bike race with a mission - the Haiti Mission Cycling Challenge.

"I am participating in a race in Haiti, which is a two-day race. It's an 80-mile race," Carlyon said.

Carlyon will be collecting donations as he pedals through the scenic but hardest hit areas of Haiti after they were devastated by earthquakes and hurricanes in recent years.

"Our main mission is to feed and educate the children so that they can empower themselves," he said.

Carlyon made his first trip to Haiti last year after a friend adopted two children from the country. Together with a few more friends, they formed a nonprofit organization they call Trezo, which is the word for treasure in the native Haitian Creole.

So far, the group's work has put 90 kids back in school, and many other children there now have healthy meals to eat.

"We are buying chickens for the families and then they disperse them amongst the families themselves. I've got a dehydration system where we are trying to show them how to dehydrate food, so they have long-term fruits and vegetables that way," Carlyon said.

But Trezo still needs to raise $40,000 to help more Haitians get back on their feet, and you can participate by joining a spinning challenge at HG Fitness Center in Spring Hill, sponsoring a child on the group's website or purchasing a block to help build a new school.

"We have some property we want to purchase for a larger building. We've got, hopefully, some solar power and a fresh water well," Carlyon said.

For more information on the spinning challenge and donations for the Haiti bike ride, visit: http://www.trezo.org or email rwcarlyon@gmail.com.

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