Frisbee club player enjoys “Ultimate” mission trip


Danielle Hoover discovered a passion for helping people on her first-ever mission trip as a 12-year-old. It’s been a love of hers ever since. Interestingly, after a few years between missions an important aspect of Hoover’s life at Bloomsburg University played a useful role in her latest trip.

“After I graduated high school I wanted to continue mission trips, but it wasn’t until (this winter) I was able to do so,” said Danielle Hoover, a junior English major. “It’s one thing to hear about the struggles of a country like Haiti, but it’s completely different to experience it.”

Before college, Hoover spent each summer traveling with her Middlesex United Methodist Church youth group along the East Coast through the non-profit organization, Reach. Over winter break she along with six fellow church members (including her older sister) volunteered in the village of Furcy, Haiti.

Among the many efforts of the mission included a visit to the United Methodist Youth Home, which featured bringing in art supplies, soccer balls, footballs — and what Hoover felt would be a fun addition — Frisbees.

“I knew we would be doing a community play day with the kids,” said Hoover, a member of BU’s Ultimate Frisbee Club. “About a month before I left, I asked the team if they would donate a few of our team discs for me to take along. My team was incredibly generous and gave me 12 Frisbees to bring along. I’m so grateful for their support and the donation, because toys like that come few and far between for the children in Haiti.”

They were a hit, according to Hoover.

“The joy that simple things like Frisbees brings them is absolutely incredible,” Hoover said. “I’m so lucky I was able to experience that joy with them. I wished my team could have been there to see it too.”

Other mission efforts included serving community meals, distributing school kits and medical supplies, meeting with community leaders and attending church services with the villagers.

“One experience that really stuck with me, is serving the community meals,” Hoover said. “The way the members of the community asked us to serve them is to serve their children first. If we were to run out of food before all of the adults were served that was okay to them, because their children got to eat that day.”

Hoover said the mission that day was lucky.

“We were able to provide everyone who came to the church with food,” Hoover said. “The worry we might not be able to felt horrible. I know every single one of us were saying a prayer in the back of our heads we would be able to serve everyone.”

The next mission team to Furcy arrives in March, according to Hoover.

“Haiti is a country that struggles greatly with poverty, starvation, deforestation, natural disasters and so much more,” Hoover said. “The people of Haiti still need a lot of help. Furcy is linked to an organization called Mountains of Hope for Haiti, which helps in providing resources such as educational facilities, a medical Clinique, farming necessities, and many other much needed resources to this community.”

A lasting memory, Hoover said, was the New Year’s Eve church service the group experienced.

“I didn’t understand a single part of the service, because it was all in creole,” Hoover said. “It didn’t matter, because I could feel the faith the people possessed. These incredible people who have next to nothing have more faith than anyone I’ve ever met.”