Father to open orphanage in Haiti for daughter
BOSTON -- The father of a college student from Massachusetts returned from Haiti today after completing a trip completely in his daughter’s honor.
Britney Gengel died in the Jan. 12 earthquake that ravished impoverished Haiti. Len Gengel spent the weekend in Haiti, where he plans to build an orphanage in his daughter’s name.
Gengel said his trip was 19 years in the making - he is continuing the mission his daughter discovered before she died.
He plans to build the orphanage and name it “Be like Brit.”
“My wife and I always knew Britney would have greatness. We just didn’t know with her passing she would be helping the children of Haiti,” Gengel said after he arrived at Logan International Airport on Sunday night.
Britney Gengel was a 19-year-old student at Lynn University. She traveled to Haiti with her school’s Journey to Hope program. She and five other group members were killed in the earthquake.
“’They have nothing, yet they’re so happy. I want to come back here and start my own orphanage.’ That was texted three hours before the earthquake,” said Len Gengel.
Britney Gengel was missing for 33 days. The orphanage her father plans to build will house 33 boys and 33 girls. It will be built in the shape of the letter ‘B’ and it will be located in Guan Goave, Haiti - Britney’s group was scheduled to visit that city Jan. 13, the day after the earthquake hit.
“We felt Brit all around us. It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Britney’s brother, Bernie Gengel.
Gengel said although he has lost a child, he has found a new purpose.
“Call it serendipitous. Call it providential. Call it divine intervention. But, we’re finishing what our daughter started,” said Len Gengel.
The Gengels hope to break ground for the orphanage this December. They hope to have the orphanage completed before the second year anniversary of the earthquake.
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