From Buffalo to Haiti – to work with orphans & make a difference.

March 28, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Hollie Hanley is on the trip of a lifetime. It’s not exactly a vacation, though.

Hollie sent us this picture she took in Haiti.

Hollie, who lives in Buffalo, is in Haiti for a week-long trip to make a difference in the world. In an email interview with spotty WiFi, the 22-year-old told me that as much as this trip will help the Haitians, it will help her, too, “I’ll be working with the ministry called I’mME, to serve, love on orphans and love on the people of Haiti. And also to be loved, that might sound selfish but the love I get from trips like this fill me and revive me! Even though I am going to be with this ministry, I don’t know anyone, I’ll be meeting everyone when I land in Port Au Prince.”

Hollie has a zest for adventure – traveling whenever possible.

Hollie has already gone a few mission trips, including one to Zambia, Africa in 2012. She says it changed her perspective, big time, “Talk about people with pure joy and thankfulness. You realize how ungrateful we are in America when we have “everything”. I think that “everything” is actually super unsatisfying to our souls. Momentarily it might be, but in the long run we run for more and more. Jesus always satisfies, and you always have enough but also always want more. More of his love, his grace, his mercies, his joy.”

Hollie shared this picture she took in Haiti.

The trip is easy to make with a supportive family. Still, it can be scary – visiting the unknown, “There are moments when I get worried and intimated but this is part of my soul, travel is in my blood and being adventurous is running through my veins. I think it’s good to go alone, then I’m forced to meet people and not be in my little comfort zone. Taking trips around this world are always amazing, but when you put purpose and travel together you get so much more out of it.”

l’m ME ministries is run by former Buffalo Bill, David Nelson and his brothers. Hollie followed David Nelson on Instagram and loved his peaceful and beautiful posts. A post about the trip to Haiti caught her eye. She applied and was accepted. Hollie will spend much of her time there, in an orphanage, working with children.

It’s an opportunity to make a difference. It’s about seeing the world, finding adventure, giving back, and living a full life. Hollie says it’s important, because life is short, “It is! So why sit in your comfort zone, or stay at a job you hate or be scared of the unknown? I get so much slack from my coworkers because I travel so much. But that’s what this life is for, exploring and experiencing! Not staying put!”

Thank you for reminding us that we can all make a difference! Be safe, and we can’t wait to hear more!

You can keep track of Hollie’s trip on her video blog – on her  YouTube Channel – Hollie. H. 


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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