BOCA RATON (CBS4) – Just days after officials confirmed Britney Gengel died in the devastating earthquake in Haiti her parents started a foundation called Be Like Brit.
In 16 months they have created what was once their daughter’s dream.
“She had the courage to do something that she wanted to do in her heart,” said Britney’s father Len Gengel.
Britney was part of a group of 14 students and professors from Lynn University in Boca Raton who were volunteering in Haiti when the deadly quake hit in 2010.
The young college student was one of six people who perished in the earthquake. Hours before the devastating tremor she sent her parents a text message that said she wanted to start an orphanage in Haiti.
Now her parents are full filling that dream.
“It’s the greatest business challenge of my life,” said Len Gengel. “To actually build a 90,000 square foot building in the poorest nation in the western hemisphere.”
Len Gengel, a construction company owner, is overseeing the entire creation of the orphanage that will house 66 Haitian children. Construction has been underway for months, but right now crews are pouring concrete –a monumental step for the Be Like Brit Organization.
“We hope to be coming out of the ground in September,” said Gengel.
The orphanage should open sometime in 2012. In the mean time, The Be Like Brit Organization is looking for volunteers or what they are call “Britsionaries” to serve to in Haiti.
Britney’s former classmate PJ Tyska was on the mission trip with Britney when she died. He is serving as “Britsionary” on the construction sight and spending quality time with Haitian children.
“It’s about the whole experience of getting to know the people who live here,” said Tyska.
The family hopes creating a legacy will change and impact the lives of young Haitians.
“She gave us that gift, said Len Gengel. “That is a blessings that my wife and I will treasure.”
For more information on how you can become a “britsionary”–that’s a volunteer for Be Like Brit organization- log onto: http://belikebrit.org