The Haiti Outreach Program, Who are they? What do they do? How can I become involved? These questions are asked each day through our website www.givehaitihope.org, so I will do my best to fill you in.
- Who are they? – The members of the Haiti Outreach Program are people just like you. We have crazy busy lives, but we have heard the call to serve the people of Haiti. Some of us are doctors, university or high school students, or stay at home moms. Some of us are retired volunteers and some of us are professionals working full time jobs. We are just like you. Each of us only takes on what we can reasonably fit into our already busy schedules. I will introduce you to a few members (who will probably give me grief for mentioning them personally): Sonya Mire organizes the student Sponsorship Drive each year and continually looks for additional sponsors year round. Mary Fox coordinates donations of goods and our regularly sent sea containers of supplies. Billy Stair champions the needs of the people of Bouly with planning and fund raising, to make the medical dispensary in Bouly a reality. Thermocopy, one of our business partners, sponsors and maintains our web presence. We contact them more times a week than I can count, and they always reply with “we will get that done ASAP”. Then usually the changes are made before the end of business that day. There are many members of our team, too many to mention in one entry. I am grateful to each and every one of them for their contribution to our common goal.
- What do they do? – The HOP is an ecumenical group of concerned individuals, working together, attempting to better the lives of our brothers and sisters in Boucan Carre, Haiti (and now serving the medical needs in Port-au-Prince, too). In short, we work as partners with the people of Boucan Carre to provide medical care, education, nutritious lunches, reforestation, jobs and so much more.
- How can I become involved? – read through the events listed below and choose one or more to participate in. Read Katie’s post earlier on the blog about how you can help. Review our website and read about what we have accomplished in the last 10+ years, then determine where your strengths lie and offer to help an existing mission. Or determine a new way to support our efforts. Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
This IS what is going on:
- First on my mind is our medical team. They leave February 3rd at 4am from Knoxville. Our team, under the direction of Dr. Dean Mire, or Blanco Tennesseeo as we like to call him, have planned, replanned and prepared for their trip tomorrow. Thank you Dr. Dean for coordinating this much needed medical relief trip. Coordinating a plane, the right supplies, immunizations, a skilled team, safe transport, accommodations, assignments once there and so much more was not an easy task. Our prayers and gratitude go with you and your team. Thank you for stopping your hectic lives and making a difference for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
- On a different note the fundraisers and donations continue. The HOP has been contacted by so many individuals with ideas on how to help. From bake sales, to shoe drives, to JulieApple donating 50% of their sales beginning at noon on Feb 3rd through midnight on Feb 5th to the medical efforts of the Haiti Outreach Program. If you aren’t familiar with JulieApple Bags, it is time you become familiar with them. I know exactly which one I am going to buy! What an innovative way to raise funds during this time when help is needed so badly.
- Planning for Fierce and Fancy Formals (F&FF) continues. Thank you to the great team who are making this event possible. As you may already know, F&FF is a Fashion Show, Dress Sale and Silent Auction to prepare for the upcoming Prom and Formal season. We have collected gently worn dresses, including some amazing vintage items, Prestige Cleaners has cleaned them for us at no charge, and they will be sold at affordable prices to students in Knoxville searching for that special dress! Donations have come from New York, California, Texas, Iowa and more! What you may not know is that our F&FF team is comprised of students from UT and area high schools! I am so proud of this team for creating a truly professional event which is a win/win for Knoxville and Boucan Carre, Haiti. So visit our dress sale page and get your tickets now, before we are sold out!
- Did you know there are over 1500 children in Boucan Carre praying for our support of their education? An education which can change the face of Haiti in the future. For only $100 you will feed an elementary school child a nutritious meal each school day AND provide an education for an entire year. For a secondary school student it is only a $200 investment. It baffles me that this is possible, but it is! As always HOP watches every dime that is donated and carefully funds projects that will begin to rebuild the infrastructure in Boucan Carre. And as with all HOP projects, the schools are run and staffed by Haitian nationals providing much needed jobs. To sponsor a child please visit www.givehaitihope.org and click on the student sponsorship link.
- The planning has begun for the annual “Hope for Haiti Medical Benefit” scheduled for June 12, 2010. This event provides updates about the progress of HOP and the people in Boucan Carre during the last year. So mark your calendars and be sure to watch for more information regarding this event.
So . . . This is who we are and what we do. If you would like to share your time, talent or treasure please contact us at HelpNow@giveHaitihope.org . We are always looking for new ideas and the volunteers to help them come to fruition!