Operation Starfish

Serving The Poor Since 1998

Nativity Catholic Church’s Operation Starfish® and its subsidiary ministries, Fish4Hope and Stella Marina, provide opportunities for encountering the poor of Haiti. Through community development, small business and safe childbirth projects, we make a difference one person at a time.

Our Story

Operation Starfish® began in 1998 when Father Dick Martin began encouraging parishioners to save just 50 cents a day by making small sacrifices and using the proceeds to make a difference in the lives of the poor in Haiti.  From this simple idea, we have indeed made a difference – 12 “Nativity Villages” with nearly 1,500 homes with basic needs like shelter, sanitation, clean drinking water, schools, clinics, businesses and jobs.

Today, Fr. Bob Cilinski carries on Fr. Martin’s legacy by continuing the Lenten sacrifice and bringing Nativity parishioners to Haiti to see first hand what a difference we are making.

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Transforming Lives in Haiti

Father Martin always said that when you see the Haitian people, you will see the face of Jesus.  As many have travelled and experienced this, they also experienced one constant that the people—despite their many struggles and challenges—always had: hope.  Come and experience the 13 Nativity Villages!

Visit the Projects Map

Growth and Expansion

Two groups have come out of Operation Starfish: Fish4Hope, which has built 3 fish farm projects, and Stella Marina, which supports midwives in Haiti with birthing kits, training materials and mission trips.

In 2019, Nativity’s College and Young Adult Ministry made its first mission trip to Jamaica, where they built a home for a family in need.

In 2021 work will begin on the 13th village development project – Nativity Village at Bas Fossé.

Operation Starfish® Fact Sheet

How to Donate

Thank you for considering making a Donation to Operation Starfish® 

Online Giving | Visit the Nativity online giving platform and donate to the ‘Starfish’ fund.  You can create an account or donate as ‘guest’.
Check | Make check payable to “Operation Starfish” and use the memo line or include a note if you have a special intention for your gift.  Please send your check to:

Church of the Nativity
6400 Nativity Lane
Burke, VA 22015
Attention: Operation Starfish

Donate Online


If you have any questions, please contact

Jim McDaniel
Coordinator, Operation Starfish

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