Thank you for your patience while my blog was on the blink this week. There's nothing that makes me take more deep breaths than internet troubles.
I've been back in the States for nearly a week, but my time in Haiti hasn't left my mind for even a moment. I was wholly unprepared for the depth of the devastation. I was stunned by the beautiful and affectionate Haitians I met in just a few days. I have been fairly well shredded by the un-luck that has befallen this country and by my own tenuous grasp on the world's reality.
But. All is not lost. I was impressed with Help One Now's founder Chris Marlow as he led us through our travels in Haiti. He had a peace about him, he lacked the desperation I was feeling, that was clawing out my skin as I heard story after story of death and disease and poverty and starvation. No, Chris didn't reflect back any of that in his eyes or demeanor. Like the local pastors he's partnered with, Chris Marlow moved in a steady way, assuring us - guests of the country, guests of Help One Now - that the burden did not lie on our shoulders. That he did not expect something out of us bloggers or our readers or our families.
I listened very closely as he spoke casually about trust. Trust is something I struggle with, on a small scale in relationships and on a huge one with God. And the world. And in others. And in companies. Trust isn't something I expect. So to hear Chris and Pastor Jean Alix move through their very complicated worlds holding trust on their backs...it has given me a lot to think about.
Help One Now is a young organization, and a small one. I liked this about them. It means they are able to do work in Haiti and Africa a bit more invisibly. They partner with local leaders who know what needs to be done and are committed to employing and empowering the people of Haiti, not just sending in foreigners to set it up their way.
Plus being on the trip with Chris, the CEO, Scott Wade, Founding Member, and Mike Rusch and Sarah Bessey, both members of the Board of Directors, I feel like I got a definite sense of what the organization was about, the work they're doing, and the direction they're headed. And I was impressed.
I want to help the people of Haiti inch forward. We can't save all the orphans, but we can strive for more orphan prevention. We can't rescue all the victims of child trafficking, but we can pour into the village that is giving them a second chance.
Here's what you can do to help in Haiti through Help One Now, an organization that I believe in:
Sponsor a child In Druoin, the country school we visited where the poverty-stricken area has been further hurt my rice farmers put out of work.
If you're skeptical of child sponsorships, I understand. (After my own skepticism, I wrote about how child sponsorship works.) While I fully understand the reservations here, I have now seen this model through two different organizations and I can attest that it works. Sponsoring a child does so much more than help that one person, in fact it lifts up an entire community. This sustainable pledge goes so far.
If we get 100 more sponsorships in Drouin, over 125 more students would be able to attend school.
Another option is to host a garage sale, with the proceeds going to Garage Sales for Orphans, this spring earmarked to help Ferrier Village, the family-care-based orphanage that currently houses 25 children rescued from the border of the Dominican Republic from human trafficking. The proceeds from the garage sales (and any other donations you might wish to make) is going towards adding two new home buildings (with the hope to care for another 20 children) and to build a preschool for all these young kids to start their education.
I'm already planning a big group yard sale here in Los Angeles, and if you're local I'd love for you to participate. More details to come, but hold May 17 in your calendars. You know you're in the mood for spring cleaning anyway - why not make it for a good cause? Round up a few buddies and make a weekend out of it!
If you sign up for a garage sale, Help One Now provides you with resources for how to throw the best garage sale party. (Make sure you select "Ferrier Village Preschool" as your cause when signing up.)
And of course, if neither child sponsorships nor a garage sale is something you can commit to at this time, but you are still touched by these stories, a straight one-time donation is always appreciated. (You will have to sign up for a Pure Charity account, but it's painless.) This donation would go to the Ferrier Village project to support the child trafficking rescue that I've shared about here.
To the depths of my soul, I am honored to have built a platform that allows me not only to blog about my unique days as a Hollywood Housewife, but also to give back time and resources to causes I believe in. I know that people must ask you for stuff every day - there are so many worthy organizations doing good work. But if you have a heart for Haiti, or orphans, or just wish to be part of something doing good things in the world, consider Help One Now and the projects we're working on this summer.