Kyle Adams is determined to excel on the football field. But the second-year Bears tight end is just as motivated to make a difference in other aspects of his life.
To that end, Adams recently spent a week in Haiti doing volunteer work for the Ephraim Orphan Project, a Christian organization whose mission is to provide a loving family environment for the neediest Haitian children and to educate them for a brighter tomorrow.
A member of the organization's board of directors, Adams helped drill water wells, feed hungry children, erect a fence around an orphanage and level land to construct buildings.
"It was an incredible trip," Adams said via email. "We got a ton accomplished and just had a great time seeing God moving down in Haiti."
While attending Purdue, Adams made three mission trips to Haiti in conjunction with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He returned for a fourth time this past February.
A devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010 killed an estimated 316,000 people in Haiti, causing an epidemic of orphaned children. The Ephraim Orphan Project has already raised over $50,000 to build its first building that will be able to house 18 orphans, but more funds are needed.
Adams has been involved with the Ephraim Orphan Project since last November. The organization is spearheaded by Fabiola Valery, a hospital administrator and teacher in Haiti. Other board members include Purdue chaplain Marty Dittmar and Purdue alum Chad Traxler.
According to its website, the Ephraim Orphan Project understands that the cycles of poverty in Haiti will not be overcome without advancing the skills and education of Haitian youths and is committed to helping the orphans who come through their doors achieve university degrees or technical skills that advance themselves and their communities.
Adams said one of the orphans the organization is taking care of is a three-year-old named Wadley whose father died in the earthquake.
"He is now healthy and taken care of by a full time nurse, and will be starting school in a year," Adams said. "He is a great kid who talks so much that his caretakers have named him the 'minister.'"
Adams and other volunteers drilled two wells.
"There was no access to clean water in the area where the orphanage is being built," Adams said, "so this well will bring clean water to our children and the local community, which hopefully will improve the people's health and overall living situation. It was an exciting time when we struck water."
Adams also helped feed a group of underprivileged children.
"We asked the mayor to give us 40 kids from the area who were in the most need and had the least to eat, and we were able to give them all a solid meal," Adams said. "They were hungry kids and devoured all the food. That was a really cool experience." [