Springfield, Ohio – Casey Rollins and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) were recognized yesterday by the Nehemiah Foundation for their extraordinary efforts with the Haitian immigrant community. The recognition came during the foundation’s annual event called “Winter Spotlight” held at the John Legend Theater of Springfield.

Casey Rollins

Casey, who has been an active member of the Springfield community for years, has made a significant impact in the lives of Haitian immigrants who face significant barriers to integration and success in the United States. Her work with the SVDP (Springfield) as the Executive Director has been instrumental in providing vital resources and support to the Haitian community, including access to legal and medical services, language classes, and job training.

During the event, Luckens Merzius, a well-known Haitian immigrant, introduced Casey with a compelling and moving story about his own struggles when he first arrived in Springfield. Luckens highlighted how people like Casey change and save the lives of Haitian immigrants who are coming to Springfield in search of a better life. The audience was moved to tears as Luckens shared his story.

With tears of joy, Casey received the recognition and invited other Springfield citizens to help others who can’t speak English in the community. She emphasized the importance of building bridges between the Haitian community and the broader community, breaking down stereotypes and promoting understanding and acceptance.

During our short conversation with Casey, she thanked the SVDP team for their tireless work in providing the best possible help to the Haitian community. She acknowledged the challenges they have faced and the hard work they have put in to help others. She also emphasized that the recognition was not just for her, but for the entire team at SVDP who have worked hard to make a positive impact in the lives of Haitian immigrants in Springfield.

As part of the work of St. Vincent de Paul, Haitian navigators work four days a week, led by facilitator Peggy Johnson. They prepare paperwork for work permits, temporary protected status, eventual asylum applications, and provide future clinics. As a result of these services, the SVDP team is demonstrating their commitment to helping the Haitian community in Springfield. If you or someone you know could benefit from these services, please refer them to St. Vincent de Paul. Together, we can continue to work towards building a more inclusive and compassionate community for all.


The Nehemiah Foundation of Springfield has been at the forefront of recognizing and supporting those who have made a positive impact in the community. This year’s recognition of Casey and the SVDP team is a testament to their commitment to building a more just, equitable, and inclusive community for all. The foundation also recognized other individuals and organizations that have made extraordinary impacts in Springfield, highlighting the collective efforts needed to create positive change in the community.

As we reflect on the recognition of Casey and the SVDP team, let us be reminded of the importance of being kind, compassionate, and generous in our interactions with others. Let us follow the example set by Casey and the SVDP team, who have dedicated their lives to serving others and making an extraordinary impact in the Haitian immigrant community. Together, let us work towards building a more inclusive and compassionate community for all.

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