A Lifetime Commitment to Service

Newsletter issue: 
September 2014
News item date: 
Thursday, September 18, 2014

by Drew Williams   

      Dr. Alice Maier heard the call to make change in the world decades before Louverture Cleary School opened its halls to talented Haitian children, but it is no surprise she ended up a supporter of THP.  She seemed headed that way from her youth. 

      Dr. Maier's life mission presented itself to her as a challenge from her father who encouraged her to be a doctor at a time when females in medical school were few and far between.  Dr. Maier had the courage to accept and capability to succeed. She finished first in her medical school class at LSU, one of two women in the class.

      Dr. Maier's initial audacity to break through barriers has led her down a long path of service.  Her medical school success has been followed by a lifetime commitment to Catholic relief work - raising a service-oriented family and eventually using her hard-earned money to help children in a nearby country have the same chance to transcend expectations that she did.  

      Dr. Maier's faith and work connect in the ultimate expression of "love thy neighbor": a tradition of providing medical care regardless of an individual's ability to pay.  Manifested at home in daily work at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, this creed translated into annual trips to Saltillo, Mexico, where she and her family joined their parish priest in providing for the poor.  The trip became "part of our life.  It didn't seem unusual that we were doing this," said Aimee Maier, Alice's daughter and former in-country Volunteer with THP. 

      Aimee answered an ad to volunteer at LCS in 1998.  Following her year of service, Aimee decided to stay on, developing THP's volunteer screening process and serving on the Board of Directors from 2002 to 2011.  For the courage to commit to this cause, Aimee credits her mom: "Her example was what really led her children to the various things they've been involved in," she said.

      After Aimee joined, Dr. Maier began donating to THP - coming from a family of educators, it was a cause that his close to home.  "I think that The Haitian Project does an asolutlely wonderful job - not just passing out money, but giving people the mindset and tools to do something themselves," Dr. Maier said.

      For THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan, it is an inspiration that Dr. Maier continues to yield those tools herself, financially supporting the organization after Aimee's time as a Volunteer with THP has ended.  "Her attentiveness to our needs is quite amazing given that she already lent us her daughter," he said.